tackling covid-19 vaccine management to take the world back to normal

Arun Balasubramanian, Managing Director, India & SAARC, ServiceNow

More than 5.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide so far, but a stark gap is emerging between vaccination programs in different countries as supply constraints impede targets.
In a welcome boost to India’s immunisation drive, the home-grown Zydus vaccine received the regulatory green light in August. Production of the ground-breaking, needle-free vaccine is already underway, ramping up to 10 million doses a month.
However, turning available vaccines into vaccinations is a colossal undertaking that requires more than just certainty of supply.
Fulfilling the government’s pledge to immunise all eligible Indian adults by the end of the year will require the orchestration of authorities, pharmaceutical companies, health providers, administrators, and clinicians. Having safe and efficient vaccine management will be critical to re-establishing trustworthy, reliable systems that citizens can count on.

Streamlining the process to minimise administrative errors and fast-track vaccinations is essential. Our public healthcare systems can’t rely on slow, manual, error-prone practices. In January, ServiceNow announced its Vaccine Administration Management (VAM) solution to simplify that effort.

We’ve since added new capabilities to give healthcare professionals greater visibility into vaccine inventory and recipients more control over vaccine management and scheduling. In the battle against COVID-19, one of the most powerful weapons is a single platform, removing logistical barriers and connect systems, processes, and people with digital workflows.

Closing the “last mile” immunisation gap

In May, India’s vaccine registration portal briefly crashed amid a surge of new sign-ups, creating confusion and administrative backlog. At the heart of robust vaccine management is real-time coordination of patient appointments. VAM now makes vaccination scheduling easier and provides certainty for everyone involved: citizens, administrators, and clinicians.

India’s vaccination centres have also been overwhelmed with citizens queuing for injections, recently prompting the Delhi Chief Minister to call for patience. With VAM, people no longer have to show up at an undesirable assigned time or wait hours due to overbooked appointments—only to find the clinic is unable to provide their vaccine. Instead, they can use an app to select the time and date to receive their vaccination dose via a centralised booking system. For those who’d prefer to speak to someone, contact centre agents can book appointments on behalf of recipients – with 100% confidence in the live scheduling data they’re accessing.
At the same time, enhanced transparency means administrators and clinicians now have more control over scheduling and cancelling appointments based on vaccine inventory, reducing overbooking issues and wasted doses. It also simplifies tracking and scheduling for second doses that must be administered on specific dates.
In a world that’s increasingly hard to predict, being able to track inventory in real-time puts healthcare professionals in the driver’s seat to open, close, and reschedule appointments as needed based on the inventory available.

As part of the VAM update, organisations that manage multiple vaccination sites also gain the ability to specify appointment slots, inventory, and available hours specific to the location.

Workflowing a healthier future
VAM is supporting health care providers across the world to vaccinate their citizens sooner – and more conveniently.
In the US, Children’s Minnesota paediatric health system used VAM to vaccinate 1,400 staff members, caregivers, and other community members in only 11 hours. They decreased vaccination wait times from three hours for walk-ins to 20 minutes by transitioning to an appointment model in collaboration with ServiceNow.

With the government’s commitment to accelerate vaccination production and immunise more of India’s population faster, the process of “unlock” will soon shift attention to making our workplaces safe from infection. Toward that effort, the new ServiceNow Vaccination Status app provides a secure portal for employees and stakeholders to submit documentation about their health vaccinations status in conjunction with the workplace policy.
Vaccination Status is part of the ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite, which includes a collection of apps that help organisations manage essential needs and services for reopening safely:

– Contact Tracing

– Workplace Safety Management

– Safe Workplace Dashboard

– Employee Travel Safety

– Employee Readiness Surveys

– Employee Health Screening

– Health and Safety Testing

– Workplace PPE Inventory Management

Digital workflows can help solve one of the biggest logistical challenges facing humanity. For India’s fight against the second wave, they can provide the speed, transparency and vital coordination our essential organisations need to help us return to our lives and loved ones.
New features are available now in Vaccine Administration Management from the ServiceNow Store.

Disclaimer: Content Produced by ET Edge

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