Confluence Health uses SMS for Self-Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccinations

When the COVID-19 vaccinations were made available, early in 2021, the operations team at Confluence Health was tasked with scheduling thousands of participants...

Intrado Healthcare

May 17, 2021

When the COVID-19 vaccinations were made available, early in 2021, the operations team at Confluence Health was tasked with scheduling thousands of participants for the 1st and 2nd dose vaccinations, within a three to six-month period, at multiple vaccine clinic locations throughout their service corridor in Washington State. State and local healthcare authorities dictated that vaccine offerings be made to the public in five distinct phases, based on a range of different criteria, and requiring specific measures to ensure compliance. 

Discover how Confluence Health leveraged their patient engagement platform to solve for their immediate scheduling needs, and consider how this strategy can be used to support on-going preventative screenings and standard immunization scheduling.

Vaccine Education and Scheduling Challenges

For many healthcare enterprises, the challenges associated with rapid, urgent patient communications at scale are the same:

  • Requires multiple staffers emailing and calling patients over the course of many days/weeks.
  • Phased approach to services distribution complicates communication and scheduling approaches.
  • Compliance requirements increases need for data tracking and oversight. 
  • Associated service call-out rates exceed baseline targets.
  • Rescheduling, especially when there is a limited quantity of vaccines, may result in care gaps and decreased patient satisfaction.

To meet these requirements, a simple, focused, pro-active approach was required to ensure that all doses allotted to the organization were distributed equitably and in full to qualifying community members throughout the region.

“I was amazed by the response! We efficiently and rapidly reached out to 6,000 patients, allowing them to self-schedule, significantly reducing call center staff burden, and we only had 1% no-show rate from those that scheduled.”

Nathanael Kempff, Integration Architect at Confluence Health

Patient Education and Scheduling Made Easy

To accomplish these goals, Confluence Health partnered with Intrado to create a campaign-style, SMS-based, direct-scheduling workflow with specific attributes to support program goals.

  • Target specific cohorts within the community 
  • Deliver easy-to-understand education and instruction 
  • Provide real-time, self-scheduling options for participants 
  • Appointments scheduled directly in Epic without manual intervention

This workflow was designed to allow for manual deployment that could be scaled and automated as qualification criteria widened with each phase. 

Results of SMS Vaccine Outreach

The implementation of the automated workflow allowed Confluence Health to efficiently reach thousands of patients, allowing the patients to self-schedule and saving the call center staff about 5 minutes of time for scheduling each appointment. In aggregate, this saved Confluence Health many hours of staff labor while providing patients with a great experience. For those that scheduled, the no-show rates were less than 1%.

Discover more about SMS-based, direct scheduling workflows that support scheduling for regular immunizations, health screenings and annual wellness care.

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Intrado Healthcare
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