COVID-19 has challenged business, the healthcare system, and plenty of people’s lifestyles. As we enter the new year, there seems to be good news about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. However, Canadians need to see that the battle is not over and realize that Telehealth can expedite COVID-19 vaccinations. With the rollout of vaccines, hospitals have been in overdrive due to COVID-19. Furthermore, to combat the virus Canadians need to accept vaccinations and encourage the distribution of the process.
Telehealth became a necessity to relieve the burden of frontline workers. Dr. Colin Banas, chief medical officer at DrFirst mentioned how telehealth has so much growth potential and is becoming a necessity for our healthcare system (We are Iowa, 2021). Currently, telehealth is being integrated with automation services to improve the supply chain and instruct where shipments are urgently required. With the help of telehealth and other technologies, organizations can enable prioritized vaccination scheduling, optimization of material management but streamlining automatic replenishment of supplies, track-and-trace monitoring of prescriptions and medical supply deliveries, and streamline reporting to help the public health system stay up to date (Rhew, 2021). Telehealth is acting as the intermediary to keep the general public informed of vaccine locations and shipments. This illustrates how telehealth can be utilized for uses beyond virtual appointments.
Through automation and telehealth, we are enabling healthcare providers to be more efficient in their duties while minimizing the risk to all parties by eliminating the human component in the process. Furthermore, to ensure the health of Canadians it is important that social distance practices are upheld, and using telehealth vaccination processes can be very effective by scheduling blocks, automated reminders with appointment confirmations, rescheduling options when necessary, standby lists in case of no-shows, and cancellations, and reporting of wait times are helpful approaches that can be enabled through technology (Rhew, 2021).
As countries are rushing for vaccinations, Telehealth can be extremely useful in educating and enabling patients to maximize the efficient process. Furthermore, with the usage of telehealth, the health care gap can slowly be bridged and minorities can be encouraged to partake in vaccinations.
Moreover, since both vaccines require two individual doses, telehealth is being used to monitor and check-up on patients. After vaccinations, providers can use telehealth technology to monitor any deterioration and provide guidance to patients (Coronavirus Disease, 2020).
To expedite the process of ensuring the country is vaccinated all medical providers need to reinforce the importance of vaccinations to patients. As Sandra A. Fryhofer, MD, mentions “remember that physician recommendation is a great motivator for vaccination, come up with a plan that aligns with patient needs. Be creative!” (American Medical Association, 2020).
As Canadians, we need to work together and educate, inform and encourage vaccinations to those who are unaware and unconvinced about the benefits of the vaccine (Rhew, 2021). Telehealth has the potential to amplify messages of healthcare providers and grow support for the vaccine. For more information about our digital solutions and how your clinic can make an impact, contact us to find a solution that can solve your needs.
For more information about COVID-19 Vaccinations:
American Medical Association. (2020, July 9). How to boost vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/how-boost-vaccination-rates-during-covid-19-pandemic
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). (2020, February 11). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/telehealth-covid19-nonUS.html
Rhew, D. (2021, January 27). Improving the pace of vaccine distribution through technology. Microsoft Industry Blogs. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/industry-blog/health/2021/01/27/improving-the-pace-of-vaccine-distribution-through-technology/
We are Iowa. (2021, January 25). What is telemedicine’s role in vaccine distribution?https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/vaccine/certinell-telehealth-interview-covid-vaccine-rollout-in-iowa/524-6be2b352-f991-42e9-adb6-b83d9de9c1e1