Gartner Research

Embed Omnichannel Consumer Engagement Capabilities Into Your Vaccine Administration Program

Published: 17 February 2021

ID: G00744754

Analyst(s): Sharon Hakkennes


The scale and complexity of COVID-19 vaccine administration programs require new approaches, and proactive consumer engagement is emerging as a critical success factor. HDO CIOs should use this research to identify opportunities to digitally enable vaccine administration across their organizations.

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For many HDOs, the complexity and scale of COVID-19 vaccine administration programs are challenging existing vaccination systems and processes. Call centers have been overwhelmed, and existing online booking systems have failed to scale with the increased demand.

The ability to proactively engage consumers at the appropriate time is emerging as one of the most critical and challenging capabilities required to support vaccine administration. Successful vaccine administration campaigns rely on active consumer engagement across the process, including (see Figure 1):

  • Raising awareness

  • Providing information on vaccine safety, efficacy, importance and availability

  • Assessing eligibility

  • Scheduling and administering vaccinations

  • Conducting postvaccination follow-up

Figure 1: Consumer Engagement Is Essential Across the Vaccine Administration Process

A priority for COVID-19 vaccination programs is to ensure equitable access, particularly in relation to vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Information must be provided in a manner that is both culturally sensitive and takes into consideration communication preferences of consumers (for example, voice, text, mobile app, social media). To maximize engagement, consumers must be able to connect through their preferred modality and seamlessly switch between modalities across the consumer journey. At the same time, HDOs must maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of these channels to ensure long-term sustainability in resource-constrained environments. They must adopt a digitally enabled, omnichannel approach to engagement within vaccine administration programs in order to meet these challenges.

CIOs are enlisting a broad range of solutions to meet the unique challenges of COVID-19 vaccine administration. The solutions are being supported by vendors across various market segments, including electronic health record (EHR), AI and automation, patient engagement, population health, and crisis and emergency management.

Core EHR vendors are updating solutions to meet emerging consumer engagement requirements for COVID-19 vaccine administration programs. For example, Epic Systems has enabled automatic reminders for patients to schedule their second dose and completion of pre- and postvaccination questionnaires through MyChart. Cerner has worked with clients to streamline patient scheduling and registration for the vaccine.Similarly Allsripts has included capabilities to improve vaccination documentation and provide second-dose reminders.

HDOs widely deployed chatbots to support COVID-19 triage, and the technology has a clear role in supporting consumer engagement for vaccination administration. Chatbots are enabling information sharing and awareness campaigns by answering routine questions around topics such as vaccine eligibility and side effects, freeing up call center staff for differentiating questions. They are also being used to support processes such as eligibility screening, preregistration, scheduling, appointment reminders and navigation to administration sites. Representative vendors include GYANT, Hyro, Microsoft and QliqSOFT.

The capability to outreach to consumers who do not proactively engage in vaccination programs is critical. Automation and population health solutions are supporting both population stratification (identifying consumers eligible for vaccination through the EHR and other data sources) and targeted outreach. They enable personalized vaccination education and engagement, including automated follow-up to ensure compliance with a second dose. Representative vendors include Arcadia and Notable.

Healthcare consumer engagement platforms and self-scheduling vendors are developing their solutions to meet the requirements of COVID-19 vaccination workflows. Capabilities vary across solutions and include:

  • Personalized messaging (e.g., appointment reminders, second dose reminders)

  • Eligibility screening

  • Waitlist management

  • Provider location searching

  • Online appointment scheduling

  • Registration and consent

  • Virtual check-in

  • Postvaccination monitoring

Representative vendors include DocASAP, Kyruus, and Lumeon.

HDOs are also leveraging consumer engagement capabilities of vaccine management solutions.These solutions are being offered by crisis and emergency management vendors or being built using platforms such as Salesforce’s Vaccine Cloud for Providers and Microsoft’s Cloud for Healthcare. The strength of these solutions lies in their ability to provide visibility of the end-to-end vaccine management workflow, facilitating coordination of the administration process based on current and projected supply, demand and capacity. Representative vendors include Everbridge, Infosys, Juvare, Mazik Globaland ServiceNow.

  • Map clinical workflows and consumer journeys for different clinical scenarios and consumer personas to identify required digital capabilities.

  • Maximize value from investment in new technologies by assessing alignment of vendor solutions and development roadmaps to immediate requirements and your broader organizational consumer engagement strategy.

  • Identify data and integration requirements to facilitate coordination of consumer engagement efforts with the end-to-end vaccine management process. For example, to avoid creating demand that the HDO cannot service, scale of communication campaigns must align with vaccine supply and administration capacity.

  • Ensure rapid scalability of underlying infrastructure of digital solutions to accommodate extreme shifts in demand.

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