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Pre-registration can fix vaccine booking confusion

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If you try Get a reservation for COVID-19 vaccine, You know how frustrating the process can be. People spend hours relentlessly updating their websites, hoping that their promises will be opened somewhere. They scan Facebook groups for tips and insider information. One writer compared it to a Soviet-style cabbage queue.

Slot competition is exacerbated only when the COVID-19 vaccination priority list is made more widely available to the public.

You don’t have to do this. Much of this misery comes from poorly designed vaccine registration websites, but the problem is more fundamental.

As an expert Healthcare business And Vaccine supply chain, I closely tracked the difficulty of linking COVID-19 vaccine doses to people. I think the best solution for scheduling vaccine reservations is to build a reliable one-stop pre-registration system. The United States currently exceeds 500,000 deaths from COVID-19,and A new rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus It is becoming more urgent. A few states are testing this approach as states are scrambling to speed up vaccination and prevent limited doses from being wasted.

The traditional vaccine registration model does not work if the demand for vaccines far exceeds the supply.

In that model, the only way to get vaccinated is to book a reservation slot. Not surprisingly, the fear of being left behind urges people to try to sign up as soon as booking slots are available. This leads to a flood of people updating the same website endlessly due to several appointments available.

Even if all states have one-stop booking websites that won’t crash in large numbers, most booking slots will be available immediately due to limited vaccine supply. It can make it even more difficult for people who are not tech-savvy to get the vaccine.

This cycle must be broken to fix the broken vaccine scheduling system.

Most people have fairly realistic expectations about when to get vaccinated. Their anxiety comes from the fear of being left behind. To address this anxiety, the system must be designed to reassure people to vaccinate within a reasonable time frame.

In Israel, the world leader in COVID-19 vaccination, citizens do not need to actively register for vaccination reservations. Rather, you will be notified by text message that you qualify and can make a reservation.

The state can reflect this “push” system by creating a one-stop pre-registration portal where everyone registers once and is notified to schedule appointments when their turn comes. The pre-registration procedure helps avoid a wave of people trying to get reservations at the same time, as Massachusetts experienced on February 18.

With a good system, people can always locate themselves in the vaccine queue, provide an estimated time to vaccination based on frequently updated supply information, and send notifications when the date is approaching. It will be easier. The vaccine dosages that underlie the system can be assigned among eligible users of the registry using the lottery system.

A well-designed pre-registration system will also help prevent wasted vaccine doses due to no-shows. With an active waiting list, vaccine planners agilely match supply and demand and serve reservations days in advance, rather than scheduling reservations weeks in advance when supply is uncertain. I can do it. According to an appointment scheduling survey, long lead times are more likely to result in a no-show.

West Virginia uses a state-wide pre-registration system and has so far been more successful in immunizing its population than almost any other state. Manage the process from pre-registration to booking. To obtain the vaccine, almost all residents, with a few exceptions, must use the state system and have the option of registering online or by phone.

Minnesota has just launched a similar system. “The supply of vaccines from the federal government is still frustratingly limited, but every Minnesota needs to know that there will be a chance to get the vaccine. Today we put them in the process. We have a direct connection, “Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said when he announced the pre-registration system on February 18.

More states should follow their initiative as more general populations will be vaccinated in the coming months.

In Massachusetts, where the vaccine registration website crashed shortly after launch, almost all members of the state legislature’s delegation urged Governor Charlie Baker to launch a pre-registration system. In some other states, extensible pre-registration systems are already limited.

Pre-registration can be confusing even if the process isn’t coordinated and users don’t know what to expect.

For example, in Virginia, the county created its own pre-registration system, but when the pharmacy chain CVS announced that it would make a reservation, users didn’t know what to do. Today, most Virginia counties are moving to a state-wide pre-registration system. In Santa Cruz County, California, residents are struggling with the pre-registration portal and no vaccination confirmation or estimated time is provided.

The “trade-off between efficiency and fairness” has become a buzzword when discussing COVID-19 vaccination. Due to the limited supply of vaccines, traditional sign-up models have proven to be inefficient and unfair. Apart from that model, establishing a one-stop pre-registration system is one key to solving the painful vaccine scheduling process.

Tinglong Dai is an Associate Professor of Operations Management and Business Analysis at the Johns Hopkins Carry Business School, Faculty of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University.

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