What Pharmacies Can Do Right Now to Prep for Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine
The landscape of COVID-19 vaccine administration is constantly changing, making it difficult for pharmacies to get ready for this largest mass vaccination event in history. Nonetheless, pharmacies nationwide must begin preparing now to vaccinate hundreds of millions of patients. A big part of the challenge is to effectively respond to the significant patient demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, while continuing to manage the pharmacy’s existing workflow.
EnlivenHealth™ recently conducted a webinar to address these COVID-19 vaccination challenges. Entitled “Pharmacy on the Frontlines: Getting Ready to Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine,” our webinar featured Duane Jones, Clinical Program Director and Pharmacy District Manager at Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores, and EnlivenHealth’s industry experts, Mike Cantrell. During the webinar, our speakers provided a practical, step-by-step blueprint for what pharmacies need to do right now to effectively and efficiently manage the COVID vaccination effort, from patient communications and education, to scheduling, registry reporting and workflow optimization.
Of the topics covered, Mike Cantrell emphasized the importance of communication and education. “Patient communications deserve a prominent position in any COVID-related program, which carries with it a certain amount of clinical information, so anticipate what your patients are most likely to ask,” said Cantrell. “The bottom line is this: Take the initiative to provide information to your patients now rather than waiting for them to come to you. Not only does this reduce any potential concerns or fears your patients may have, but this will also help to minimize inbound inquiries,” he emphasized.
When the time finally arrives to administer vaccines to the larger population, pharmacies will need to ensure they have the tools to manage the added workflow. “Online scheduling tools will allow you to efficiently manage COVID vaccinations,” said David Kirkus of EnlivenHealth.™ “It’s not just about scheduling; these tools also help to automate communication to patients, collect patient information digitally, and automate reporting to state vaccination registries,” said Kirkus. “Managing the scheduling process will be a challenge, but with early targeted communication to patients and a reliable scheduling solution, pharmacies will be able to efficiently manage workload while also keeping patients and staff safe.”
Duane Jones of Harps Foods said it all comes down to keeping the patient at the center of focus. “Pharmacy is, in many cases, the only healthcare provider within 30 to 50 miles for people in rural areas, and thus plays a crucial role in educating patients about the COVID-19 vaccine and easing their fears and anxiety,” according to Jones. He also highlighted the importance of a scheduling tool, like CareScheduler from EnlivenHealth™, to get patients into a managed workflow while creating opportunities for education and easing the administrative burden for pharmacists.
We invite you to watch the on demand recording of the webinar here.