Jefferson Healthcare improves scheduling for COVID vaccinations

Posted 2/25/21

Despite early hiccups in scheduling vaccine recipients, it is beginning to look like Jefferson Healthcare has caught its breath as they seek to vaccinate Jefferson County against …

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Jefferson Healthcare improves scheduling for COVID vaccinations

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Despite early hiccups in scheduling vaccine recipients, it is beginning to look like Jefferson Healthcare has caught its breath as they seek to vaccinate Jefferson County against COVID-19.

Jefferson Healthcare is now taking registrations for individuals 65 years old and older, who will be notified when a position becomes available for them to come and get their dose of the vaccine.

The hospital is still working its way down the list of Jefferson County’s older populations, but continues to register people younger than the present vaccine group, so as to guarantee they have willing arms ready as more vaccine shipments come in.

Jefferson Healthcare spokesperson Amy Yaley said as the hospital district worked to implement a system that adhered to state standards, she said all their hard work felt less like an end to virus and more like “playing defense.”

“I sent out 15,000 emails for 1,000 appointments and guess what happened? Mayhem,” Yaley said of Jefferson Healthcare’s first big vaccination push.

“That was just the way that it worked out; frustrated people, scared people, happy people and crying people. It was not ideal,” she said.

Following the initial rocky rollout, Yaley said the group refined its scheduling and notification methods. Now, anyone who falls into the age category for registration may register online to receive a notification when their shot is ready.

Using this system — instead of working from a list of anyone who had visited a Jefferson Healthcare provider in the past two years — Jefferson Healthcare can quickly target the individuals in the “age band” being vaccinated and alert them to come get their vaccine.

If the would-be recipient has managed to get their shot elsewhere, like the Tri-Area Pharmacy or Safeway, no worries; they can just notify Jefferson Healthcare via email and their spot will go to the next eligible recipient.

According to Yaley, folks have been surprisingly good about ensuring that the hospital knows when they have already received their shot. While just a bit “inelegant,” Yaley said the new system still requires no small amount of manual emailing.    

“It’s a numbers game,” she said. “We know if we send out so many emails, we’re getting a really good idea of what our response rate is to that.”

As Jefferson Healthcare has steadily begun working through its list of vaccine candidates, Yaley said she felt like the hospital is going in the right direction in the fight against the virus.

“It does feel like we’ve hit our stride. It feels good to be moving through this list,” she said. “To be playing defense for so many months, now we get to actually have a solution and these people are so dang happy.”

As of Feb. 18, Jefferson Healthcare had administered 7,618 doses.

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