2. Scheduling appointments and reminders

Given the high volume of residents to vaccinate, many vaccine providers are considering using a scheduling or queue management tool. These tools can help you manage the flow of residents throughout the day and across multiple sites. They can also be used for communication and reminders.

Keep in mind

  • Patient management: Do you want residents to schedule ahead? Allow same day walk-ins? Particular vendors shine depending on how you want to manage the flow of patients upfront and on-premise.

  • Anticipate weather-related cancellations: If you have any sites that are outside, and your area has inclement weather during the winter, it’s likely you will occasionally have to cancel. Plan for this by leaving gaps in your vaccine administration timeline and ensuring robust notifications to residents. This is particularly important for patients coming in for their second dose, because they have a small time window to be effectively treated.

  • Plan for reminders: The leading vaccine candidates are multi-dose, “prime and boost” vaccines. Without reminders, members of the public may not return for their second dose; a UK study showed that only 11% of adults completed a two-dose Hepatitis A vaccine series. SMS-based reminders are likely to raise the rate of vaccine series completion.

  • Manage inventory: Inventory management will be a particularly important factor for scheduling. See more details in the Managing Inventory section.

  • Brand tracking: Some scheduling tools can be used to help track the vaccine brand (e.g., Pfizer) of the resident’s first dose.

  • Resident eligibility check: You’ll likely want to check the resident’s eligibility in some way at the time of scheduling. This can be done in a lightweight way (quick screener question before scheduling) or in a more heavyweight way. See the Collecting Patient Information section for more details.

  • Input patient information: You’ll also likely want residents to input their patient information at the time of scheduling. This can be done with your scheduling tool (if they provide this feature) or with a separate patient registration tool.