- With no best practices to use as a model, each hospital has had to develop a COVID-19 vaccine program tailored to its own situation.
- Some hospitals are charging for vaccine administration.
- Communication has been key to a successful rollout.
As healthcare stakeholders from the federal government on down scramble to implement a mass vaccination program, hospitals are working to fulfill their role in the process of getting the COVID-19 vaccine into people’s arms.
Yet the recent experiences of three hospitals show that the specifics of vaccine programs can vary significantly at the ground level, reflecting each organization’s unique assets and characteristics.
Planning for facility and staffing logistics
Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster, Washington, a critical access hospital serving the 15,000 residents of a large rural hospital district, converted its hospital lobby to a vaccine-administration center for the initial phase of its vaccine program. Vaccinations eventually may move to the hospital’s outpatient clinic, said Jennifer Best, the hospital’s business development coordinator.
Nurses and administrative staff are being redeployed from their regular positions to handle vaccine administration. “We're not really in a position financially to be able to bolster our staff,” she said. “So we are using the people we have — from admitting, to the business office, to nursing to our surgery team — and they are an excellent team.”