Like most of 2020, flu season has many worried and presents several unknowns. But one thing is certain, healthcare organizations, governments, and even private companies are promoting the flu vaccine this year more than ever before – and for good reason. According to the CDC, the 2019-2020 flu season resulted in 18 million healthcare appointments in the United States and close to half a million hospitalizations, 15% of which resulted in death. These volumes, on top of rising COVID-19 cases, could be devastating on healthcare resources and staff, particularly in rural regions.
Pablo Murcia, Professor of Integrative Virology (Centre of Virus Research) at the University of Glasgow shared in The Guardian’s Podcast that the science is still out on how COVID-19 will interact with other respiratory illnesses, but scientists and healthcare providers agree that weakened immune systems during a pandemic are never a good thing and that a “twindemic” is not only a scary word but could be a terrifying reality.
The need for flu vaccinations seems to be one thing most people can agree on in 2020, but health systems and patients still have many challenges to overcome. How do overworked providers deliver record numbers of flu vaccines without overwhelming resources while simultaneously running COVID-19 testing centers and, of course, keeping patients and staff safe? How do patients safely and conveniently get access to flu shots when they are not going to the places where they used to get them like work, pharmacies, and their doctor’s office?
To help, we’ve compiled a list of ways patient engagement and communication can educate, promote, schedule, streamline, and protect patients and staff during this unprecedented flu season.
Educate Patients About Flu Shots and Promote Flu Shot Clinics With:
Provide links to more information on the importance of vaccination; share location, schedule, and safety protocols of flu shot clinics; and reassure patients that the hospital, testing centers, and shot clinics are safe places to go.
Remind high risk patients why it is so important to get their flu shot and to share how they can safely get a vaccine with your health system.
Take inbound calls from patients and staff with questions about the 2020-2021 flu season and to schedule appointments.
Schedule, Streamline, and Protect Patients at Flu Shot Clinics with Social Distancing and Virtual Waiting Rooms with:
- Designated flu shot appointment times.
- Convenient online scheduling for current and new patients.
- Call in scheduling hotlines for live voice scheduling and frequently asked questions.
- Appointment reminders to prepare patients for what to expect and remind them of the importance of being on time.
- Virtual waiting rooms to allow patients to wait in their cars until their designated appointment time or until a provider can come to them.
As health systems turn their COVID-19 testing centers into dual purpose locations to deliver flu shots alongside COVID-19 tests, we stand ready to help in any way we can. Contact us to discuss how we can support your flu shot initiatives.