You may be wondering why we are talking about the upcoming flu vaccination season while we’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a fair question.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our world hard and warranted our undivided attention for several months now. Lurking around the corner, however, is the next flu season. For occupational health clinics in large corporations and health systems, managing annual flu immunization programs for employees is a big undertaking – even in normal circumstances. And without a doubt, 2020 thus far has proven to be anything but normal.
Over the years, Enterprise Health has developed some really compelling mass immunization capability, and we are now looking at how to refine that in light of COVID-19. Several of the methods used to speed the process of administering thousands of flu shots — such as lining people up and having them sign consent forms on an iPad — are now problematic. We don't want all those people touching the same iPad, for example.
To address these challenges, we are working with many of our large corporate and health system clients to rethink the way they will administer their employee flu vaccination programs this year in ways that will maintain the same level of efficiency but in a totally different way. Here are some of the changes they are addressing:
Plan for increased demand
Officials have stated they expect that health fears sparked by COVID-19 will increase demand for flu vaccinations. In most health systems, flu vaccinations are mandatory which means their employee health clinics have a good handle on how many vaccines they will administer each year. In large corporations where vaccinations are offered but optional, employee health clinics could see an increase in the number of employees who want to get vaccinated. These clinics should immediately review their vaccine orders to make sure they can meet a higher demand.
Create a minimal contact process
COVID-19 significantly changes the way occupational health clinicians interact with employees and raises the question of how to administer tens of thousands of flu vaccines while minimizing contact throughout the process. Our clients are exploring many ideas that address every touchpoint from registration, consents, wait line and check-in procedures to the clinic layout and actual vaccine administration.
If you’d like to hear first-hand how other organizations are addressing some of these challenges, join us on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET for a webinar featuring Samantha Lodish of Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Tiffany Bould of CITGO. Samantha and Tiffany will share insight into the modifications their organizations are making to this year’s flu immunization program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and answer questions. You’ll also learn about some exciting uses of technology that can aid in creating a low contact workflow.