Facebook Pixel The COVID-19 Vaccine Brings New Challenges to the Delivery of Healthcare | Altus, Inc.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Brings New Challenges to the Delivery of Healthcare

By | Published Feb 24, 2021 | 7 min read

Over the last year, major companies from all over the world have raced to develop a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Finally, we are seeing the fruits of the months of research and testing as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are distributed and administered. But vaccine creation is just one step in ensuring all American have access to this life-saving medicine. The creation of the COVID-19 vaccine has brought new challenges to the delivery of healthcare across the country. In this article, we explore these unique challenges and how the healthcare industry is stepping up to make a way for safe, efficient vaccine distribution in the US.

Equipment Needs

All across the country, healthcare professionals are distributing the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. But in order for these crucial vaccines to reach as many people as possible, we have to address the equipment and personnel needs that are impeding efficient vaccine distribution.

Carts

Medical carts are simple yet vital pieces of medical equipment that healthcare workers need. These carts allow providers and staff to move from patient to patient quickly. Altus provides many carts that vaccine distributors are using to provide vaccines to large numbers of patients every day. Popular models include the C3 model at facilities in southeast Michigan and the MPC-43 cart at California facilities. Altus also creates custom carts to meet the specific needs of healthcare workers as they work to protect citizens across the country with the innovative vaccine.

Altus’s designs their medical carts with the provider in mind, creating a durable final product that makes receiving and recording patient information easier than ever. The carts boast a lightweight design with ease of movement that makes rolling them from patient to patient almost effortless. As providers and facility staff care for patients, utilizing smartly designed, durable medical carts enable them to administer large numbers of vaccines quickly and with ease.

People

With millions of COVID-19 vaccines distributed all across the US, there’s a significant need for qualified professionals to administer those vaccines. And regardless of who is giving the shot, the patient can trust that they’ve undergone training and received all proper certifications to safely and effectively administer the vaccine.

From the pharmacy to the doctor’s office and many places in between, there are a number of healthcare professionals who will be able to give the shot. Even dentists and medical students can be certified to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who gives the vaccine will have been thoroughly trained so those receiving the shot can expect the best possible outcomes.

Facilities/Space

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, people are placing themselves on waiting lists so they can get their dose as soon as possible. Some healthcare facilities are reorienting and reorganizing their spaces to accommodate the most patients while still maintaining CDC guidelines for social distancing.

In many parts of the country, long lines and high demand mean healthcare facilities see hundreds of people per day. There’s a need for well-organized spaces to implement effective vaccine distribution. While some doctor’s offices are administering the vaccine, many people are going to other healthcare facilities to get their shots, and these facilities need to make themselves accessible to all patients, structuring their layout for maximum efficiency while keeping patients safe.

Sub-80 Freezers

The COVID-19 vaccine presents a unique challenge in its storage. One of the more advanced vaccines, a Pfizer product, must be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, this is much, much colder than most freezers on the market. Without a freezer that can reach those ultra-freezing temperatures, the Coronavirus vaccine simply won’t survive.

In order for the vaccines to be effective, they must be stored at the correct temperature. So, from the moment the medicines leave the manufacturing facility until they’re administered, they must maintain their temperature. And the types freezers that can hold to these extreme temps won’t be found in traditional appliance stores. Some states that have large biotech industries have access to ultra-freezers. Other states aren’t in the same position.

Widespread vaccine distribution is the goal. But first, the vaccines have to make it to their destination and be kept in safe, effective storage. Now that several companies are making their vaccines available, the newest challenge will be finding freezers that can maintain the sub-80-degree temperatures so the vaccines can be housed until healthcare workers can administer them to the public.

Scheduling and Logistical Challenges

In addition to growing equipment and personnel needs, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution poses logistical challenges for those seeking to get the shot. There’s a great need for adequate facilities, trained personnel, medical equipment, and proper storage. But the vaccine rollout also presents unique scheduling and logistical challenges.

Who Goes First Differs by State

Never in our nation’s history has there been such a high demand for a vaccine. And with that demand comes millions of citizens vying for their chance to receive this preventative medicine. But who gets to be first in line? That varies state to state.

The CDC lists a few goals for vaccine distribution, the first being to reduce death and serious disease as much as possible. With this hope at the forefront of their distribution strategy, they recommend that healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents receive the first doses, as they are the most vulnerable to infection. In fact, 39 percent of all deaths caused by the virus occurred within the walls of these long-term care facilities. This demographic, along with healthcare workers, are the CDC’s top priority for vaccine distribution.

While states are under no legal obligation to follow the CDC’s recommendations, it’s anticipated that most state governments will indeed follow the advice of the CDC’s expert panel, providing the vaccine first to these groups and then to other residents as recommended.

Receiving Vaccines

Now that clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals are creating waitlists for vaccines, many Americans are jumping at the chance to sign up. But because demand is so high and the government is encountering so many logistical challenges regarding vaccine delivery, receiving a vaccine takes more than just a quick trip to the doctor’s office. In some states, residents hopeful for a vaccine wait in lines that are hours long.

However, in places like Chapel Hill, North Carolina, vaccine clinics are scheduling appointments. This strategy has proven effective for organized, quick, and—most important of all—safe vaccine administration.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry faces many challenges in distributing and administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Training, space, storage, and then the logistics of administering a vaccine to everyone in the country are just a few of the demands the vaccine has brought along with it.

However, we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. With medical equipment to better serve healthcare workers, adequate storage and space for the vaccines, and organized administration sites, we can overcome these challenges and usher in a safer, healthier time for the country—and the world.

MEET WITH WORKSTATION EXPERTS
Schedule your needs
assessment today!
Let’s explore your goals and our volume-based pricing.
Altus Cart