YellowSchedule powers smoother vaccine roll-out

Limerick software company YellowSchedule has a solution for making Covid-19 vaccine roll-outs more seamless and has already deployed it at a Cork hospital.

Limerick software company YellowSchedule has a solution for making Covid-19 vaccine roll-outs more seamless and has already deployed in Cork.

YellowSchedule has launched a solution to enable the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) in Cork to allocate second dose appointments for its Covid-19 vaccination roll-out to healthcare and frontline workers.

“The use of the QR code means that visitors can be processed immediately at reception and not have to queue”

Already in use by multiple health authorities in the US, the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, a part of the South/South West Hospital Group, is the first site in Ireland to deploy the solution to manage vaccine rollout.

“The beauty of this solution is not only the huge administrative overhead that has been removed and automated but also the flexibility it gives to organisations,” said YellowSchedule CEO Martina Skelly.

“As the vaccine rollout programme ramps up there are many moving parts involved in implementation and our system can handle these seamlessly. Whether it’s the optimal timing of the second dose vaccine, flexibility around the numbers of vaccinators, the duration of appointments, allocating appointments to people or enabling online self-scheduling. We provide real time data to healthcare providers and enable them to maximise every timeslot to ensure that there is no wastage in the system.

“We’ve worked with the South Infirmary in the past and are always impressed with how forward thinking they are in terms of adapting innovative solutions to improve the delivery of healthcare and streamline workflow for staff. They have a willingness to make these projects happen as they understand the benefits to all,” Skelly added.

YellowSchedule currently provides a number of cloud-based, healthcare scheduling solutions for hospitals, behavioural health and the long-term care sector. Over 15m appointments have been scheduled through YellowSchedule to date through bespoke solutions and the SaaS platform.

The company can provide a unique code and single-use link for Covid-19 vaccination programmes to ensure that only eligible people can schedule vaccinations online to prevent queue jumping.

Look, no queues!

Diagram of how YellowSchedule solution works.

Speaking with ThinkBusiness, Skelly said that plans to deploy in other Irish hospitals are on the cards.

“We configure the solution for each hospital based on the wards, the beds and public guidelines to determine number of visits that can take place concurrently. Each visit is scheduled with a specific patient using a unique YellowSchedule Visitor Access Number – this enables accurate and fast contact tracing as the hospital will know, in the event contact tracing is necessary, exactly where each visitor was, when and the duration. They are also pre-screening for Covid risk factors on the morning of the visit and can only proceed with the visit if all the answers are negative.

“The use of the QR code means that visitors can be processed immediately at reception and not have to queue.”

Skelly explained that SIVUH approached YellowSchedule to help deal with a logistical nightmare around organising the second dose appointments as one of the major regional hubs for the rollout.

“It’s working really well for them. They can change the number of appointment allocations on a daily basis based on vaccine delivery and the number of vaccinators on any particular day.

“We’ve also delivered a slightly different vaccine delivery solution for a variety of health organisations and health authorities in the US. With those, the patient self-selects the first dose appointment and the system automatically locks in the second dose 28 days later to ensure that 2nd dose appointments are always available at the correct interval for those who have received their 1st dose vaccine,” Skelly said.

Commenting on the solution Jean O’Sullivan, operations officer at SIVUH, said: “YellowSchedule delivered for us at short notice on our requirement to fulfil second dose vaccines. Without a national system ready for use yet we would have had a monumental task to schedule their second dose, especially bearing in mind restrictions around the timing of the second dose and co-ordinating that with the delivery of the vaccines.

“YellowSchedule have given us the ability to focus on the delivery of the vaccine by removing huge logistical hurdles.

“The system is flexible and can change on a daily basis based on the number of vaccinators available each day and provides reporting functionality so that hospital staff can see who has confirmed their appointment, who has cancelled, who has not yet replied and can follow up appropriately with this small number.

“Additionally, we’re very happy to support an Irish company that are market leaders in the healthcare scheduling space,” O’Sullivan said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 27 January 2021