Online Vaccine Scheduling Tool

Salina Family Healthcare Center
The Situation

Salina Family Healthcare Center (SFHC) is a community health center providing comprehensive, integrated primary care services in Salina, KS. When COVID-19 struck our state, SFHC met the challenge to help administer as many tests as they could around Saline County in their new mobile unit.  Once a vaccination was released, SFHC took the challenge head on again, this time leading the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations for the Saline County area in partnership with the Saline County Health Department. However, when they realized the magnitude of how many vaccinations were to be scheduled each week and the amount of staff resources it took to schedule them – between filtering potential applicants, calling every individual to schedule and then entering updated information in their internal system – they knew they needed to expedite and simplify their current vaccination scheduling process.

laptop computer with scheduling tool and a close-up picture of the calendar

The Approach

502 conducted a needs analysis with the client to ensure that the solution would collect all of the necessary information from users, meet security and HIPAA requirements and integrate into their internal scheduling process. 

User-friendly experience is always a top priority, but even more critical in healthcare, where access and equity have major consequences. In this new scheduling workflow, each participant was assigned a unique ID that allowed them access to the sign-up form from an automated email. This decreased the chance of inaccurate signups from those not yet eligible for the vaccine,and allowed multiple participants using a single email address to receive tailored information and invitations.

Once on the sign-up form, users could choose an appointment from a handful of days. Appointments were broken down into five minute increments and each increment could host several people. The number of available appointments per five-minute block of time was managed automatically by the scheduling tool and presents the number of appointment slots currently available to the participant. This functionality allowed for a controlled flow of participants throughout the day and eliminated overbooking. This freed up staff from spending time on scheduling appointments and eliminated the risk of double-booking.

Results from the scheduling tool are automatically fed into a secure platform that manages the vaccination status of all participants and allows SFHC to continue communication with each participant as needed. This allows SFHC to know who may need follow-up for the next round of vaccinations, who already received a vaccination from another source, who scheduled an appointment with SFHC or has declined to receive the vaccination.

The Results

Each week, SFHC schedules about 630 first dose appointments. What previously took the work of four or more full-time staff members, is now saving 60-70 staff hours per week – almost $1,000 per week.

“We estimate that the scheduling solution has reduced our outgoing COVID-19 vaccination scheduling calls by approximately 70% over the first three weeks,” Said Hayley Samford, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator at SFHC. “[Online scheduling] is saving crucial staff time that can now be moved to assist with vaccination administration and support.”

 
~$ 0
savings per week in staff costs
0 %
reduced time on scheduling