DrDoctor QuickBook- enabling Covid vaccinations for the nation
Topics: Industry insights
The country is facing its biggest logistical challenge since the Second World War: how to produce, ship, store and deliver million of doses of the new coronavirus vaccine.
The challenge sits with the NHS, where care providers will have to book tens of millions of appointments across the country for us to receive the two-step vaccine.
Realistically, the traditional model of booking appointments in the NHS, where a patient is told (often by 2nd class post) when to come in, will struggle greatly in meeting this enormous challenge.
Organisation is key whenever dealing with volume. There’s around 67 million people in the UK. If the vaccination is intended for everyone apart from children, who make up around 20% of the population, there’s just over 53 million of us waiting to get jabbed. Two vaccines per person translates to 106 million appointments. And that’s only if everyone turns up at their intended time.
Naturally, the response of the NHS in organising millions of appointments, is to look at their clinic opening hours, divide these into appointment slots, and then distribute those slots for the people of Britain. That’s a beautiful system in theory but comes riddled with problems in real life.
If scheduling these appointments by letter, or phone, it takes enormous amounts of admin and manual labour. Imagine calling all the people at your clinic and together finding a slot that works for both parties. Allocating these slots by paper letter is even more inefficient, not to mention slow and expensive!
Then there's us Britons. We have lives and schedules and childcare arrangements and flat car tires. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll all be allocated an appointment slot that we can actually make on first attempt. So in the worst case scenario, we won’t make our scheduled slot and that number of appointments required to immunise the population will grow bigger and bigger. And the thing is, we’re all looking forward to returning to normal life as soon as possible. Weddings, concerts, family dinners and gym classes to name a few.
We’ve come too far in the fight against coronavirus to become undone by an inefficient and slow booking system. So what’s the answer? It’s simple; every NHS clinic needs to move the appointment processes online and into the 21st century.
After all, we book our restaurant, flight, and movie reservations online (at least we did when we could still make them…). So why not do the same for our vaccinations?
Giving patients control of the booking process is the most efficient way to get the job done; only we know what works best for our daily schedules.
The DrDoctor QuickBook solution uses existing technology and simply a web browser to allow clinics to prepare a year’s worth of vaccination appointments in one hour, starting with those that are most vulnerable.
Even better, this can be done immediately and be up and running the same day, without clinics having to fuss with their IT infrastructure or patients needing to download an app; an internet connection is all that is needed, something that will ease the booking process for those amongst us that are less tech-savvy.
Moving the entire process online will also help with the major hidden challenge of the upcoming vaccinations: tracking the two-step process. Unlike regular flu-jabs, the coronavirus vaccine will need to be given in two doses, a minimum of 28 days apart.
DrDoctor QuickBook will link the two appointments on the admin side, while also guaranteeing that second appointments are shifted if the first appointment is somehow missed or rescheduled. Text message-based alerts can then be used to remind patients of their upcoming appointments in a really neat workflow.
This will ensure that every available appointment slot is used correctly, ensuring the population is vaccinated as quickly as possible.
We can do it. But to beat the coronavirus we need to move online, not wait for the post to arrive or for the GP surgery to pick up after a lengthy queue on the phone. We might be working from home but time remains precious.
Get in touch here to have a chat and see how DrDoctor can help your patients.