Keys to effective COVID vaccine management

by Nate Giordano

How do you facilitate the biggest vaccination campaign in history? In the United States, it means administering over one million doses per day. Data shows that around 98 million doses have been distributed throughout 56 countries, which averages about 4 million doses a day. 

That’s a lot of vaccines. 

If you want to know how it feels, try drinking out of a firehose. That’s what our State and Local representatives, and our medical professionals across the nation have been doing every single day since this pandemic began. 

Fortunately, technology leaders like Infosys, Simplus, and Salesforce have come together to architect a solution on a grand scale to help, and their latest collaborative offering was the topic of our recent Effective, End-to-End Covid-19 Vaccine Management for Providers webinar. 

Included are perspectives from some of Salesforce’s top experts on Public Health, and refreshing opinions from Infosys’ Head of Government Health Solutions, Dr. Suman De—an indispensable resource in his past life to India’s efforts to vaccinate over 3 billion people in the fight against polio. Our experts discuss the current state of global vaccine management and breakdown the ways clinics and health providers can use cutting-edge technology to connect with patients and the community at unprecedented levels and scale.  

“We learned quickly that previous vaccine protocols don’t work with existing vaccine management designs,” says Nadeem Ahmed, Senior AVP at Salesforce. “We need 75 percent of the population to be vaccinated to combat this disease, so we need systems that deal with the complexity of demand and supply.”  

Panel members agree that some key points to vaccine management include automation and regular communication. “We recognize that this collection of different journeys need to be automated,” explains Ahmed. “We need agility and flexibility, and we understand that guidance is going to change.” And the need for trustworthy, timely communication is why Salesforce developed a mass vaccine community event management capability. 

“You need a single source of truth,” says Sean Kennedy, Public Sector Health Go-to-Market Lead and Senior Interoperability Architect at Salesforce. “A place where all of the information is coming in, and coordination is happening.” He adds that Salesforce work.com is designed to hold all of that information in one place and support all of your team’s decisions rather than move to a different system to gather information for a specific task, while also allowing for easy integration with existing systems and processes to ensure data consistency and clarity.

There are many new challenges that we encounter every day. Let’s explore what VMS looks like during a typical day at a medical clinic and how Salesforce has leveraged existing service platforms to build solutions for efficient end-to-end vaccine management. 

“The goal for this package is to create a “Clinic in a Box” tool that providers can install easily and get their clinic up and running,” explains Dr. Suman De, Head for Government Healthcare Solutions at Infosys Public Services. “The grand scale of this process really brings to light how people need to go ahead in a much more differentiated way and not treat it as an existing vaccine management program,” he added. “It’s going in a completely different direction with respect to the protocol, the complexity, the drugs, and the residents and vaccine administrators.”

The design utilizes the typical clinic workflow by offering functions for your front office scheduling and registration team, the middle office administering team, and assisting with back-office team duties. Here’s how.

 

Front Office Services

Your front office team’s duties focus on registration and scheduling, clinic operations, and handling communication. Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, to assist in managing campaigns, outreach programs, sending notifications and alerts, and other knowledge assets. This system also helps with both individual and mass scheduling and organizing second dose appointments for patients, leveraging the most scalable proven scheduling tool currently available in the market, Skedulo.

And since people need up-to-date information on vaccine status, availability, how soon they can get the vaccine, the requirements, qualifications, etc., this platform helps your clinic become a trusted source for the community, and can even be embellished with familiar branding to further improve the overall experience. 

 

Mid-Office Services

To enable your health provider staff, Salesforce streamlines patient services so you can see as many patients as possible while also monitoring and managing schedules for often limited resources and services. 

To optimize efficiency for tech-savvy patients, Salesforce Community Cloud enables clinics to collect patient information and consent prior to their visit. By completing the online registration, your team can verify the patient’s registration form, schedule an appointment at the nearest provider clinic, confirm the time slot with the clinic, and verify the product type and availability. To accommodate those who struggle with technology, consent and wellness information can also be collected on-site.

When the patient arrives on site, your vaccine administering staff has a full, 360-degree view of each patient with easy access to their relevant history, medications, allergies, etc. And of course, this information is protected with the tightest of security so that only those authorized will have access.

 

Back Office Services

Inventory management duties typically fall on your back office team, and it’s proven to be a monumental task to keep track of vaccines and efficiently administer them before spoilage occurs. Your back-office team must ensure your clinic has what it needs before patients arrive for their vaccination, and that the quality of the vaccines are tracked and maintained. 

Since monitoring products and supplies are essential for maintaining workflow, the system assists with package tracking and documentation, forecasting for needed supplies, and simplifying reimbursement for claims processing. 

Every stage has a complete capture of data, which assists with data analysis and compliance reporting, including tracking freezer temperatures to avoid spoiled vials. 

All of these streams of valuable information, at both a macro and micro level, can be easily viewed and drilled deeper into through a highly visual and highly intuitive set of dashboards and reports powered by Tableau that enable Operations and Coordination teams to evaluate progress and act on any new obstacles in near-real-time.

“We designed this solution so you can deploy whatever components you need,” says Kennedy. “Modularity and configurability are hallmarks of this solution. All of these capabilities are located on a single, unified, and secure platform.”

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned with COVID, it’s that our understanding of the virus, the disease, and our response to each is continually changing. So the flexibility and agility of a trusted system allow providers to deploy and use it with confidence. 

Simplus, Salesforce, and Infosys have been working hard to measure and understand the unique challenges of facilitating a global vaccine management process and to ensure our solution addresses the current challenges. 

To learn more about the innovative Salesforce vaccine management solutions that can help your clinics, check out this webinar called Effective, End-to-End Covid-19 Vaccine Management for Providers

 

nathan giordanoNathan Giordano is a sales director for Simplus. A passionate and process-focused consulting sales leader, Nate is currently working to bring Simplus’ expertise within the Salesforce ecosystem to an untapped client base in the Northeast. He focuses primarily on High Tech and Professional Services organizations, but he also brings direct experience with manufacturing, biotech, SaaS, banking, government, startups, and other industries with both domestic and global footprints.

[email protected]

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