As the calendar turns to August, we want to be sure to properly recognize National Immunization Month by highlighting the importance of vaccinations—for people of all ages.
And this annual observance couldn’t have come at a more critical time.
The last year has been anything but normal. COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to many aspects of daily life, including to our own healthcare. Many have put off routine visits to healthcare providers, and especially children, who according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have fallen behind on receiving recommended vaccines. And now with COVID-19 variants raging through the country, there is no better way to celebrate National Immunization Month than by reaffirming the importance of pharmacies continuing their vaccination efforts—of any and all diseases preventable by immunization.
Vaccinations and variants
After an encouraging spring, the United States is now unfortunately heading in the wrong direction when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. With only 48% of the population fully vaccinated (55.5% with at least one dose),1 a hyper-transmissible Delta variant accounting for 83% of new cases,2 and the new Lambda variant bursting on the scene, it is unsurprising that the country is experiencing a significant increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
While the future of the pandemic is unclear, what is crystal clear is that 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are attributable to people who have not been immunized. The takeaway is simple: the single most effective way to keep patients healthy from surging COVID-19 variants is to keep vaccinating patients.
And fortunately, pharmacists have—and continue to be—up for the task.
Key to community vaccinations
As the community’s most accessible, trusted and valued source of health information, pharmacists are the healthcare providers who may be the best positioned to reduce missed vaccination opportunities. By leveraging their strong patient relationships, community pharmacists can meaningfully impact vaccine uptake not only by physically administering life-saving shots, but by educating patients on their importance, addressing questions and concerns, and clearing up any misconceptions they might have that can cause hesitancy. In fact, research shows a recommendation from a healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist, is the strongest predictor of an adult getting vaccinated.3
And the PrescribeWellness solution is here to help.
PrescribeWellness—supporting your immunization business
Every patient encounter offers an opportunity to assess the immunization status of your customers, and ensure that they are up to date on their vaccinations. By leveraging the tools offered through the PrescribeWellness vaccination solution, your pharmacy staff can quickly and easily identify opportunities for vaccinations across your patient population. In fact, the PrescribeWellness software even offers advanced filtering capabilities that help to identify and target your most at-risk patients by a range of factors, such as age or insurance plan.
Of course, identifying vaccine opportunities is only half the battle, which is why PrescribeWellness offers communication capabilities that let your staff reach out and engage targeted patients about vaccination availability via phone and text. By utilizing patient outreach campaigns, pharmacists can send a series of automated reminders that ensure vaccine appointments are attended and maximum protection is obtained. This is a particularly helpful tool for converting patients’ second COVID-19 vaccine dose.
The PrescribeWellness solution also streamlines the documentation process and removes the administrative burden by facilitating integration and connectivity with state immunization information systems (IIS) to report vaccination data. This is particularly helpful when it comes COVID-19 vaccines, which come with state and federal requirements that any pharmacy procuring vaccinations must remain compliant to.
Want to learn more about how the turnkey PrescribeWellness solution can help community pharmacies implement and sustain a vaccination business? Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch!