The United States faces an unprecedented and complex challenge in its effort to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans. Although the initial distribution of the vaccine will be completed in phases to ensure frontline healthcare professionals and high-risk patients receive it before the general population, the planning, resources and logistics necessary for such an extensive operation will be challenging.
- Produce Detailed Plans and Processes: One resource for learning how to operationalize a vaccination response is the CDC Interim Playbook Planning Assumptions and Key Areas of Information Requested from States for Vaccine Distribution Planning. Providers can create a COVID-19 task force comprised of members from various departments (i.e. operations, human resources, pharmacy) within your organization to start mapping out key roles and responsibilities.
- Consider Collaboration with Third Parties: For any large-scale project to run smoothly, partnership among the parties involved is necessary. For the COVID-19 vaccine, providers collaborating with state and local leadership and other public and private sector partners helps all parties involved identify and understand expectations and roles.
- Establish Communication Methods and Strategies: Regular and effective communication between you and your team, your partners and other parties within your network is very important for optimized distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Organize Reliable Resources: Consider operational aspects, including how your practice will notify patients of a second dose and how that notification can be done automatically. Don’t forget about additional supplies such as disinfecting wipes, hypodermic needles and biomedical hazard wastebaskets.
- Educate Your Team and Patients: As a provider, you’ll be tasked with educating the public on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine(s) you’re administering. Plus, you’re still responsible for reminding patients to continue to comply with various public health measures, including wearing face masks, social distancing and washing their hands.
- Utilize Patient-centered Technology Solutions: Every U.S. state has some sort of immunization registry to track vaccinations administered by providers, though they vary in functionality. These registries will be utilized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Source: Provider Tech
Photo: Scientific American