In a recent issue of The Tennessean, I shared a few insights on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution challenges many health systems have been facing and offered a few tips to get them on track. After all, developing the vaccines was supposed to be the hard part.

In the op-ed, I highlight some of the stories we’ve heard from clients about single-day call volumes quadrupling and phone systems and websites crashing – all potentially impacting standard health system operations. But hope is not lost.

HCTec’s expertise lies in guiding health systems through unprecedented events like these. We have the knowledge, people and technology to support these organizations and streamline their efforts to vaccinate as many as possible, while maintaining current patient care operations.

Many of our capabilities have already successfully assisted clients experiencing exponentially higher call volumes. When call volumes increase, we rapidly deploy 24×7 managed agent teams to assist. These agents receive initial education and ongoing updates from our specialized Continuous Improvement and Training Teams, so they are informed assets who understand not only the client, but also the client’s processes and procedures.

We also don’t simply bring on hired hands to manage call volume. Our solutions provide different types of agents, all of them highly trained, including greeters who assist with general information needs and routing callers; schedulers who assist with making EHR appointments; and patient portal support specialists who aid callers with setup, navigation, and other patient portal-related needs. With different agent types, healthcare organizations can better segment calls and increase efficiency.

Clients that lack sufficient inbound phone lines can transfer their lines onto our Five9 contact center solution. That way, we can add capacity at a quicker rate, helping callers avoid a busy signal.

This contact center solution also has advanced intelligent IVR (Interactive Voice Response) capabilities, enabling HCTec to build self-service menus combined with public service announcements designed to help callers receive the information they need without speaking to an agent.

HCTec can provide IVR topology diagrams for discussion with clinical operations, IT, telecom, and marketing departments to aid with how and when to change the IVR. Changes are typically made daily and sometimes many times within a day based on the changing information.

By tapping into our services and systems, clients receive nearly real-time updates on key metrics to help them understand the effectiveness of their overall approach with the vaccine administration, a benefit many health systems could use right now.

In this moment, when things are happening rapidly and systems are scrambling to keep up, it may seem unconscionable to take a step back to bring in a provider like HCTec. However, the return on that investment of time and resources is substantial.

By using our expertise to prepare for, manage and streamline the vaccine distribution process, health systems can more effectively assist the thousands of patients interested in receiving the vaccine, while also reducing waste, improving patient satisfaction, and perhaps even growing their patient base.

If you would like to learn more about our vaccine admin support services, click here.