After months of battling COVID-19, healthcare workers were hopeful that vaccinations would offer some much-needed light in a long pandemic tunnel. Unfortunately, the process has often been rocky.
“When I went to receive my first COVID vaccination, I was brought back to reality fast,” shared one ER nurse in a rural hospital in West Virginia. “Nurses and doctors were piled into this room and waiting in a line that went out into the parking lot. Despite showing up on time and all that waiting, many went home unvaccinated because the hospital ran out of doses. We found out employees who work outside of the fray had received their shots before the nurses and doctors facing it every day. It was discouraging and infuriating. I know hospital leadership was trying to do their best, but it was so poorly planned and disorganized.”
Stories like that aren’t uncommon. The COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been a challenge, to say the least. An initial dosage shortage in December1 meant ruthless prioritization, with healthcare workers at the top of the list.
Still, as the calendar flipped from 2020 to 2021 even some of the nation’s top hospitals were struggling to rollout the vaccine in a sensible way.2
Cautious optimism as more doses become available
Promising news came in mid-February when President Biden announced his administration had secured 200 million more doses3 of COVID-19 vaccines – a 50% increase.
However, along with that encouraging news came a realistic look at the logistics of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans, which could take well into the summer. Especially tricky is that the vaccination requires two doses on a specific schedule.
Improving vaccine distribution with two ABILITY applications
To ensure that more healthcare professionals are vaccinated in a timely manner, leaders must develop a distribution process, but without broad visibility and tracking mechanisms, planning is a challenge. Two applications from ABILITY can help.
While ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler, a workforce management application, generally simplifies the process of scheduling staff and open shift management, it is especially valuable for vaccine distribution. Use it to:
- Schedule both vaccinations for every employee in your facility. Plus, gain the visibility to see in an instant where appointments stand across the organization and by department.
- Notify staff of scheduled vaccines. Send instant notifications to staff who can confirm the appointment with just a tap on their phone.
- Enable employees to swap appointments as needed. If something urgent comes up, a staff member can find a replacement, so schedule appointment slots aren’t wasted.
- Account for dosage limitations. Schedule vaccinations according to what you have on hand in real-time and avoid the disappointment of running out mid-clinic.
Overall, this application can help provide better management and planning for those receiving and giving the vaccines.
Further streamline your vaccine distribution process with ABILITY SMARTFORCE Credentialer, which enables you to easily track credentials and organize licenses, certifications and in-services all in one place. You can see at a glance who hasn’t taken their first or second dose, plus both you and employees receive alerts when a vaccination is upcoming or overdue. That can be instrumental in scheduling staff to work with high-risk patients.
Both of these affordable applications are accessible from mobile phones, tablets or computers and both are easy to learn and deploy.
To learn more and see both applications in action, schedule a demo.
1 “Trump administration passed up chance to lock in more Pfizer vaccine doses,” NBC News, December 8, 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/trump-administration-passed-chance-lock-more-pfizer-vaccine-doses-n1250357.
2 “As Hospitals Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccines, Health Care Workers Describe Chaos And Anger,” NPR, December 28, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/12/28/950427961/as-hospitals-rollout-covid-19-vaccines-healthcare-workers-describe-chaos-and-ang
3 “With More Vaccines Secured, Biden Warns of Hurdles to Come,” New York Times, February 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/politics/biden-coronavirus-vaccines.html.
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