Overview/Summary Text

A Washington-based hospital needed to vaccinate over 100 employees as quickly as possible in just three days. Thanks to a quick and rapid deployment and configuration of Microsoft Bookings, frontline workers at this Hospital were able to easily schedule their covid-19 vaccinations promptly – giving the Hospital time to focus on their patients while prioritizing the health of their workers.

Overview/Summary Text

Set-up, configured, and deployed Microsoft Bookings

New Vaccine, New Problems

When the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were approved and ready to be distributed, the CDC established that healthcare workers would be the first to receive them. With cases skyrocketing and the death rate increasing every day, getting healthcare workers vaccinated as quickly as possible was urgent. But with limited resources and budgets, developing a strategic COVID-19 vaccination scheduling plan can be tricky.

Our client, a Washington State-based Hospital, had to deal with this issue when they were informed that their first vaccine shipment would arrive just before Christmas. Their team had done significant research and established that they were going to set-up a large vaccination station outside to distribute the vaccine to their employees.

This station would include three lanes with a dedicated staff member at each to administer the vaccine. To keep things moving quickly, the hospital planned to have 10-minute appointments set during business hours, 7 am to 5 pm., and while the Hospital had a distribution strategy ready to go, they were feeling quite overwhelmed when it came to figuring out how to get all employees’ vaccinations scheduled quickly and efficiently.

Developing a Solution Under a Time Constraint

The largest barriers were time and resources. “We needed a scheduling platform developed in under 24 hours to start administering the vaccine the next day,” said the Hospital’s CIO. “My team didn’t have the skillset or knowledge of the necessary platforms to get it done in time.”

Affirma has had a strategic partnership with the hospital since 2015 and has had an ongoing IT-managed service.  “It’s a great model to have in place if you don’t have the resources to hire people with the skillset that Affirma has. With our managed service, Affirma’s team focuses on whatever issue is the most important, highest risk, or needs project management,” said the Hospital CIO.

Because we already had an established relationship with the Hospital, our team got started right away. With less than 24-hour turnaround time, and the day before Christmas, our team jumped in.

“When I heard about this project and the Hospitals’ need for quick and efficient vaccination appointment scheduling, it was a no-brainer for us to jump in. To be able to play even a small role in helping healthcare workers get vaccinated during this pandemic has been rewarding,” says Steven Pound, lead developer on Affirma’s Modern Workplace team. “We jumped in immediately to help because it was a high priority and an important project.”
“When I heard about this project and the Hospitals’ need for quick and efficient vaccination appointment scheduling, it was a no-brainer for us to jump in. To be able to play even a small role in helping healthcare workers get vaccinated during this pandemic has been rewarding. We jumped in immediately to help because it was a high priority and an important project.”

– Steven Pound, Lead Developer at Affirma

What We Did

The Hospital wanted to use Microsoft Bookings to create a platform for their employees to schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations. They needed to rapidly set-up, configure, and deploy the platform to help protect healthcare workers.

Because this situation was urgent, our development team got started within hours of them asking us for help. Working closely with the Hospital’s IT department, our developers configured Bookings to fit these specs:

  • Set up three generic staff members to be at each of the three lanes
  • Set up the appointment windows to be 10 minutes long
  • Set the hours/dates for vaccination availability
  • Set the staff member/lane to be automatically selected for when employees make their appointments, a setting that allows them to select their preferred staff member/lane if needed
The Microsoft Bookings COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Platform.

Custom Microsoft Bookings Page Development

Affirma’s team created three pages within Bookings for the pertinent COVID-19 vaccination scheduling information to live and provide easy process management.

The Staff Page

This page allows the Hospital to control lane availability. They can add/remove lanes as needed, close lanes, and limit lane availability by times.

The Services Page

The Services page is intended to provide more information to their employees. This includes the name of the service (COVID-19 Vaccination) and a description that explains the vaccination process such as where to go and the dates that the vaccine will be administered.

We also configured email reminders to be sent from this page that alerts employees the day before their scheduled appointment.

The Customer Page

This page populates with employee information as they make their appointments, giving the Hospital real-time, valid data that tracks who and who hasn’t scheduled their vaccine.

Taking Care of Healthcare Employees

In less than 24-hours, we set-up, configured, and deployed their Microsoft Bookings Portal to provide their healthcare workers with an easy-to-use platform to book their COVID-19 vaccination.

The Calendar

Once the employee books their vaccination, their information is automatically populated to the customer page and synced with the company calendar, making it significantly easier for the Hospital to manage their employee vaccine distribution efforts. Bookings also provides an easy-to-read, dedicated Calendar web app for visibility.

Internal COVID-19 Scheduling Portal

The actual scheduling process is quick – it takes less than 30 seconds for employees to book their time slot. Employees just need to go to the Internal COVID-19 Vaccination Bookings portal, click on the available date, choose a time that works for them, enter their information, and book it.

Results

Affirma’s scheduling portal has been instrumental in the Hospitals’ overall COVID-19 employee vaccination plan. The Hospital was able to meet its goal and get all their employees vaccinated in under three days with Affirma’s help in the following areas:

  • Solution configuration and deployment in record time
  • Expert developer insight to deliver the solution in less than 24 –hours
  • Ongoing support for round 2 of vaccinations

Amazingly, the Hospital was able to schedule vaccine administration the day after Affirma delivered the platform solution.

The Hospital has already started to use the same portal for employees to schedule their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

“With the Pandemic, Cybersecurity increase, and downturn in revenue, the support from Affirma has been amazing.”

– The Hospital’s CEO

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