Population and Public Health

COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery

Girl getting a shot from a doctor.

Executive Summary   

Delivery of a structured, equitable and elegant solution for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out at Cleveland Clinic was given one of the highest priorities at our organization. With limited supply and state directives of target populations invited in sequence, a multidisciplinary team was formed for this vital work. We needed to be able to get the right person to the right place at the right time using a variety of healthcare technologies. For the initial phase of vaccinating healthcare workers, Cleveland Clinic wanted to start with our caregivers who were most exposed to COVID-19. We created lists from our Human resources software based on role and location of employment. These lists were then passed on for identity matching within our electronic medical record (EMR) so that bulk ordering could be performed to issue invitation-only scheduling tickets. We leveraged text messaging at the same time as bulk order placement to notify those caregivers that were eligible so no one missed their opportunity. Self-scheduling was made simple through our patient portal.  

We also provided support to call center agents who could assist those caregivers calling for vaccine appointments. At all stages of this process, extra care was taken so that all eligible people were notified when it was their turn. We learned lessons along the way and course corrected in an agile framework for rapid recovery. For instance, we needed better identification of duplicate bulk orders to prevent excess in the system. We tweaked the technology to auto-close the encounters created in patient records in the mass vaccination clinics. Being able to quickly see which vaccine was needed at which location was important for proper allocation and patient safety. Structured scheduling needed adaptation so that second doses were correctly created at the right intervals. Through it all, the participation of key stakeholders, collaboration in real time, and the established governance structure enabled the team to review and adjust in a rapidly changing environment.