What are the success factors for vaccination in the 4 leading states in the USA so far?
by Joaquim Cardoso do Rosário
January 13th, 2021
North Dakota, West Virginia, Connecticut and South Dakota, have implemented from 58 % to 73% of the vaccines they have received, due to 9 success factors:
(1) Federal partnership with pharmacies
(2) State partnerships with regional pharmacies
(3) Partnerships among state and cities
(4) Provider Education program
(5) Information Systems and Regular Reports
(6) Central Warehouse, Distribution System and Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
(7) Communication and coordination
(8) Specific local state guidelines for priority groups
(9) Efficient processes (no waiting lines)
1. Federal partnership with national pharmacy chains
CDC’s developed the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program — a federal program to vaccinate long-term care and assisted living facilities in partnership with CVS and Walgreens. North Dakota choose this model.
On the other hand, many facilites are not participating in the Federal program — more than half of North Dakota’s long-term care facilities — because a state law in the state, dating back to 1963 requires pharmacies to be owned and operated by pharmacists, which effectively bans chains from operating in the state. Only six CVS pharmacies have been grandfathered in under the law.
2. State partnerships with regional pharmacies
West Virginia chose to deliver its vaccine supply to 250 pharmacies statewide, most of which are small, independent stores, also leaning heavily on its National Guard. Those pharmacies already had data for many patients, making it easier to schedule vaccination appointments earlier, secure consent forms and match doses to eligible patients — efforts that are confounding the vaccine rollout in many other states.
3. Partnerships among state and cities
In South Dakota David Basel, MD, an internal medicine physician / pediatrician said that: “he attributes South Dakota’s success to partnerships at the city and state level.”
4. Provider Education program
North Dakota launched a robust provider education program to prepare for vaccine administration in partnership with the North Dakota State University Center for Immunization Research and Education in Fargo.
5. Information Systems and Regular Reports
North Dakota departments also maintains weekly vaccine updates for all COVID-19 vaccine providers, along with weekly office hours and a COVID-19 vaccine email where providers can ask questions.
6. Central Warehouse, Distribution System and Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
North Dakota also operates a state warehouse to store and handle its COVID-19 vaccines.
In south Dakota, Mike Wilde, MD, Sanford Health’s chief medical officer, told , an ABC affiliate in Rapid City, S.D., that the state’s success in its vaccine distribution is “a testament to the resources we have within our healthcare system, our electronic medical record, being able to also identify populations that don’t work at Sanford or Avera that also qualify for the vaccine,” referring to Avera Health, a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based health system.
7. Communication and coordination
Connecticut has developed a good Communication and Coordination program between the state and hospitals hasn’t been a problem, Thomas Balcezak, MD, chief clinical officer of Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital, told The Wall Street Journal. Statewide, hospitals are working well together too, with his facility receiving a couple hundred doses from another hospital, Dr. Balcezak said.
8. Specific local state guidelines for priority groups
South Dakota broke from federal guidelines when defining its first vaccine priority group, adding law enforcement and corrections staff. The state also added people 65 and up, adults with at least two or more medical conditions and front-line workers in schools and colleges to its second priority group, according to KFF.
9. Efficient processes (no waiting lines)
In South Dakota, they are proud that “As soon as that vaccine comes in, we’re getting it given to people, whereas you see national news, a lot of times they say it’s sitting in freezers somewhere. That’s not happening in our state, whether that’s Sanford, Monument out west or us with Avera. We’re getting it done,” David Basel, MD, an internal medicine physician/pediatrician at Avera Health, told KOTA-TV.
Analysis of the article published at https://www.beckershospitalreview.com on January 13, 2021.
About the author
Joaquim Cardoso do Rosário
Senior Advisor of Healthcare @ BCG — Boston Consulting Group.
São Paulo Office, Brazil.