St. Luke's University Health Network to launch automated call system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccines  

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Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke's University Health Network is deploying a new automated scheduling system next week that will call individuals eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and let them self-schedule their appointments over the phone. 

The health system will launch the new tech beginning with patients who are at least 75 years old, according to the Feb. 11 news release. Patients will get a call on the phone number they have listed on their St. Luke's patient records. 

St. Luke's IT department built the automated scheduling system internally over the last two weeks and piloted the program on a small number of patients in early February. During the call, an automated voice recording will ask if the patient would like to receive the vaccine; if they answer yes, the patient goes through a COVID-19 eligibility check and is given three appointment dates and times at the site nearest to home. The patient can then choose which appointment slot is best by pushing the option number on the phone, getting scheduled within three to four minutes. 

"We saw that many older people were having difficulty using computers to sign up online using current processes," St. Luke's IT development director Shishir Singh said in a news release about the new system. "Our automated system is meant to open up another channel for people to easily get scheduled with minimal hold and/or wait times." 

The health system said it is hoping to sign up at least half of its patients through the new system as more become eligible for the vaccine.


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