Med Center Health's vaccination process supports high volume and eliminates waste
Med Center Health (Bowling Green, KY) uses MEDITECH to administer over 30,000 vaccine doses in just over two months.
When vaccine trucks rolled into Med Center Health (Bowling Green, KY) on December 14, staff were ready and eager to administer the 975 doses about to be delivered. The next several weeks were filled with 12-hour days of registering patients, administering the vaccines, documenting in MEDITECH’s EHR, and sharing data with the state through their immunization interface, all in an effort to achieve their mission: To vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible. By February 22nd, they had administered more than 30,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
“I am incredibly proud of the work that our team has done to be ready for vaccine administration as we prepare for what hopes to be the final leg of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CIO Mark Brookman. “Their tireless efforts throughout this pandemic have saved a lot of lives across our community. They are all heroes.”
Administering the vaccines
Med Center Health’s vaccine administration is managed by a team of IT staff, executives, ambulatory staff, and other clinicians, who maintain constant communication with one another. They use MEDITECH’s Ambulatory solution to schedule appointments, register patients, and document the vaccination during the process, which takes approximately 15-20 minutes per patient.
The healthcare organization closely followed MEDITECH’s vaccine administration best practices when setting up the mass administration. Beginning with front line employees, providers and first responders, Med Center Health staff distributed the vaccine in a large auditorium, documenting in their Ambulatory solution. They recently expanded administration to include teachers and seniors 70 years or older.
While preparing and administering the vaccines are primarily the responsibilities of nurses and pharmacists, patient registration, documentation, and follow-up scheduling is primarily handled by volunteers from other departments and across the community, including retired nurses and pharmacists. Volunteers check in patients and schedule their second dose upon arrival; retired physicians have even volunteered to observe patients after they receive the vaccine to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction.
Minimizing vaccine waste
To minimize waste, Med Center Health enables pharmacy staff to access the vaccine administration schedule; they can then track appointments and determine how many doses to thaw for a particular day. Using MEDITECH’s Data Repository to project “no shows,” the healthcare organization overbooks based on these analytics. They also maintain a waitlist. At the end of the clinic hours, they determine how many vaccines are left over and call patients on the waitlist until the remaining doses are administered. A state government mandate requires Med Center Health to administer at least 90 percent of their allotted doses each week before the organization can receive its next vaccine shipment.
Distributing both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines demands adaptable processes. During the second week of February, Med Center Health was required to administer both the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine — on the same days. To avoid mixups, the clinic designated workstations for each vaccine. Six nurses administered the Pfizer vaccine, while three administered the Moderna vaccine. In addition, volunteers were split into two groups, one to check patients in for Moderna 2nd dose and one to register patients at intake and schedule the second Pfizer appointment. By adapting workflows and adding volunteers, Med Center Health was able to administer a record 1407 doses in one day, shattering their previous record of 846 doses.
Getting the word out
Community outreach is integral to Med Center Health’s vaccination strategy. They’ve purchased ads on social media platforms and radio stations to educate the community on vaccinations, and word of mouth has spread quickly. Eligible patients are asked to text a keyword to a specific number to schedule an appointment, which goes to the waitlist. Someone from the hospital will then access that text message from the waitlist and call the patient to schedule an appointment. Outreach has been highly effective, with approximately 2,000 patients on the waitlist as of February 15th.
“People are so excited to get the vaccine that the response from the community has been overwhelming,” explained Director of Applications and Operations Crissy Willis. “They love the quick parking and convenient scheduling, and don’t mind waiting in line. The whole process runs smoothly, and everyone has been very appreciative.”
Accelerating administration with Quick Vaccination
To further streamline processes and administer even more vaccinations per day, Med Center Health has begun testingMEDITECH’s Quick Vaccination, a flexible, web-based solution that streamlines workflow to reduce the burden of mass distribution. Also, it automatically generates certificates, a CDC requirement for patients to receive the second dose and validate vaccination.
Customers, please visit our Vaccines FAQ page for more information on MEDITECH’s vaccine administration guidance.