Why analytics are key to building a strong vaccine management program: 3 notes from UMass Memorial Medical Center

Healthcare organizations understand that leading a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout is only as good as their ability to manage and track progress. As a result, many have leveraged analytics to foster a strong vaccine management program. 

During an April 8 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Tableau, Robert Klugman, MD, associate vice president and medical director of employee health and occupational health at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., shared how analytics simplifies vaccine management. 

Barry Chaiken, MD, clinical lead at Tableau, moderated the discussion. 

Three key takeaways: 

1. Analytics dramatically ease logistical burdens, such as keeping track of first and second doses. For example, UMass Memorial tapped Tableu's software to develop simple dashboards that provide an overview of its vaccine program's progress. "We're able to track first and second doses of vaccine across the organization as well as our vaccine inventory," Dr. Klugman said. "It also shows us how many of our employees have accepted the vaccine and what percentage have declined" he added, which helps focus UMass Memorial's efforts on reaching hesitant populations. "This gives a look from 10,000 feet in our organization and how we're doing." 

2. Data informs equitable vaccine distribution. A separate dashboard tracks demographic information on UMass Memorial employees who have received the vaccine, providing an overview of those vaccinated by job type, and ethnic and socioeconomic groups. "As we move toward healthcare equity, if we see a disparity between these groups and percentage of vaccination rates as well as the job categories, it gives us a target to shoot at in terms of more aggressive interventions," Dr. Klugman explained. 

Such use of analytics plays a similar role when vaccinating the general public.The health system has employed analytics to breakdown demographic information in nearby communities and identify subpopulations where extra efforts may be needed to increase vaccination rates. For instance, analytics helps pinpoint which areas may benefit most from a having mobile vaccination unit sent to their community. 

3. Analytics are a key component to combating vaccine hesitancy. While not everyone is data driven, the use of such dashboards offers people a simple look at how many people have been vaccinated in their regions. "Data is powerful," Dr. Klugman said. "Hopefully, people will see that more and more people are being … safely vaccinated and in fact, the incidence of COVID-19 infection and serious infection drops dramatically where populations have been vaccinated," he added. "I think people get a sense of security when they see the large numbers and the efficacy and safety of the vaccine." 

To watch the full webinar, click here. 


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