With vaccinations/immunizations starting to roll-out globally, the reality of being able to re-open the world is getting closer. Economic planners and public health officials must balance risk and weigh options for re-opening, find controlled and effective methods to avoid crowding, and solve for social distancing at scale.
As an organization that plans to provide COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, or requires a comprehensive re-opening plan, evaluating a high capacity scheduling solution that provides safe, secure, and easy-to-use scheduling and appointment setting for the masses, should be priority number one.
But how do you know what makes a good high capacity scheduling solution? When evaluating a solution to re-open your world, on schedule, ask yourself if it has these ten crucial capabilities.
1. Process appointments at scale
The high capacity appointment booking software you put in place should be able to handle the scheduling of appointments at a mass scale, but also be easy for the general public to use.
From a tech-savvy Gen Z’er to your grandma, anyone should be able to follow this path to secure their testing, vaccination or other appointment:
- Navigate to your website and select to schedule an appointment
- Enter their information, including their address
- Select from the available options, determined by their address, as the locations that are closest to them
- Upon selecting a location, select an appointment time slot from the available times
- Receive a text message or email confirmation for the appointment that includes all of the necessary information (a QR code for contactless check-in, a confirmation code, when, where, what to expect, etc.)
- If needed, navigate back to your website to cancel or reschedule their appointment using the provided confirmation code
2. Send fully customizable email and text notifications
Receiving a COVID-19 test or vaccination can be nerve racking, keep individuals informed throughout the process with clear appointment details, reminders, and notifications sent via automated text message or email.
Look for a high capacity scheduling solution that includes the ability to send these text and email notifications, but also allows for your team to customize the messages that get sent to include know-before-you-go information including additional directions, reminders about required PPE, even what to expect when receiving a test or vaccination all in addition to the confirmation code and QR code that should come standard when booking an appointment.
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3. Contactless check-in
For all interactions today, safety is paramount, but even more so for close-quarters healthcare interactions. When social distancing is not possible, masks, other PPE, and moving to contactless processes could be the thing that stands against exposure. Providing a method for contactless appointment check-in can also help ensure the safety of both care providers and individuals receiving a test or vaccine. Make sure your high capacity scheduling vendor provides a QR code, along with a confirmation code, that can be scanned on-site by staff members for contactless check-in, removing the need for paperwork.
4. Deliver test result alerts
Your solution should be able to send an alert or notification via text message or email address to an individual, letting them know their test results are ready to view, enabling them to go to the test provider’s website to receive their test results.
5. Schedule staff members for one or multiple locations
As we are in the heat of planning for these testing and vaccination scenarios, one essential thing that tends to be forgotten about is the scheduling of the caregivers and staff that will be working at these locations. Look for a holistic appointment booking software solution that will help you with not only the high capacity scheduling of appointments for the public, but also the shift scheduling of your personnel.
6. Accommodate vaccination schedules
Depending on the vaccine and which manufacturer it comes from, an individual will require at least two doses over a span of weeks or months. Your high capacity scheduling solution will need to be able to accommodate the scheduling of multiple appointments for one individual, and this can be done one of two ways:
- Schedule all of the dosage appointments at one time. When an individual navigates to your webpage to book their vaccination appointment, they will be prompted to book not just the initial appointment, but all appointments required for that vaccination series within the appropriate time frame for that particular vaccination.
- Individually book dosage appointments. You may want to provide individuals the flexibility to schedule only the first appointment, and then once that first appointment is complete, the patient will receive a reminder, via text or email, letting them know that it’s time to schedule their next appointment.
7. Scale pop-up locations on-the-fly
When it comes to COVID-19, things seem to change by the minute. At one moment a community may be in a safe place and in the next they could see an outbreak. Look for a high capacity scheduling solution that provides the flexibility to quickly and efficiently put together pop-up testing or vaccinations locations where they are needed most. Easily administered and managed by anyone at your organization, add the location and hours of operation to your appointment booking webpage to start accepting new appointments immediately.
8. Administer and manage with clicks, not code
Since things are changing so rapidly, and there are always unexpected challenges, having a solution that can be easily administered and managed by anyone at your organization is much more than a nice-to-have. Look for a high capacity scheduling solution that allows your team members to set up and easily change things like:
- Setting up a new testing or vaccination location
- Adjusting the hours of operation for one or multiple locations
- Editing the length of appointment time slots
- How many appointments are offered in a given day and time slot
- How many staff members are needed for a location
9. Integrate with inventory management and supply chain systems
The best solutions have open APIs that allow integrations with any technology that your organization might be using, including inventory management and supply chain systems, making it easy to track resources like test kits, vaccinations, and any necessary equipment. Having a bird’s eye view of this information will help you determine your capacity at one or multiple testing or vaccination locations.
For example, if you have enough staff and test kits to provide 50 tests on a given day, your appointment scheduling system needs to reflect that capacity, so that there are 50 appointment slots available to be booked that day. On the flip side, if a shipment of tests or vaccinations was not delivered, and you only have 10 test kits available, your appointment scheduling system will need to be updated on-the-fly to reflect that new capacity.
10. Data security is taken seriously
There is a lot of data being processed around COVID-19 testing and vaccinations – personal data, data about vaccinations, data about test locations, demographic data and more. It’s important that the vendor you chose for high capacity scheduling is passionate about keeping your data safe and will do everything they can to make sure your data is secure to the highest standards.
So if you’re looking for a system to help you manage the high capapcity scheduling for your organization for COVID-19 testing or vaccination/immunization administration, book a demonstration today!