VigiLanz, a clinical surveillance company, announced the launch of a new mass vaccination support software. The company is offering Vigilanz Vaccinate free to its existing customers to help frontline healthcare teams stay safe.
I had the chance to sit down with Stacy Pur, Vice President of Product Development at Vigilanz to find out more about their product and to talk through some of the unique challenges of these early vaccines.
“The COVID-19 issue is personal—at VigiLanz, we have had employees and family members contract COVID-19 and require medical intervention,” said David Goldsteen, VigiLanz’s CEO. “We are so grateful for the amazing care healthcare teams are delivering across the country, and we wanted to do something to help. It was important to us to offer this tool [Vigilanz Vaccinate] to current customers for free to help them and their frontline healthcare teams stay safe during this extremely challenging global pandemic. It’s the right thing to do.”
This latest product from Vigilanz follows a pattern they established earlier in the pandemic when they made their COVID Quick Start solution free to customers.
Digitizing Staff Vaccinations
According to Pur, here is how Vigilanz Vaccinate works:
- A special URL shared with staff.
- Clicking the link brings employees to a customized form for that organization. Questions include: their willingness/interest in getting the vaccine, personal risk factors (ie: age, caregiver at home, conditions) and other screening questions based on CDC guidelines.
- The Information is used to group staff into risk categories.
- CMO, CNO and/or other staff leaders review the collected information and determine the prioritization sequence.
- Based on the number of available doses the system can automatically notify the prioritized staff to inform them that their dose is available
- After receiving the first dose, the system will automatically recall that person for their 2nd dose
“Staff have the ability to opt out of that second dose if they wish,” said Pur. “The system will prioritize them for the second dose of the vaccine but there is still a secondary consent that is needed. If that consent is not provided, then their dose is released back into the pool so that it’s available to others.”
It was smart to have the system manage the 2nd dose in this way. Staff may have an adverse reaction to the vaccine so they may not be able to take that 2nd shot. As well, future COVID-19 vaccines may not require a second dose.
As staff receive their vaccination, Vigilanz Vaccinate tracks everything. This allows the organization to have a dashboard that shows:
- % fully vaccinated
- % partially vaccinated
- % declined
- # still waiting
- Comments received from staff who have already received the vaccines
This information can be segmented by department, by unit or any parameter, across the entire organization.
The limited availability of the vaccines potentially introduces a new challenge for healthcare organizations. I wondered aloud to Pur, if there might be some staff who would prefer not to be first in line to receive the vaccine because they may already be at their limits and being vaccinated may lead to additional shifts or tougher assignments.
We know that hospitals are stretched thin and if extra staff needed to be brought in, would administrators turn first to those that are vaccinated? Also, as ICUs expand, will vaccinated staff be asked first to take the assignment?
Pur was quick to point out that although this could happen, it was unlikely that staff from one unit would be transferred to another simply because they are vaccinated – “It has more to do with the numbers of hours worked, skill levels and employment agreements”.
Light and Hope
The fact that Vigilanz Vaccinate exists is a further sign that there is reason to hope that we will soon be out from under the iron grip of COVID-19. By making their solution free of charge to customers, Vigilanz is showing that even though we are 9 months (or is it 9 years) into this pandemic, frontline healthcare workers still deserve our help and support.