Episode 94 // Feb 25, 2021

Podcast — Who Should Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines?

With Ryan Colaianni, SVP of Crisis Communications

Resources from today's episode

Takeaways

Health systems' future role in vaccine distribution

  • Health systems haven't been set up for success in vaccine distribution, often hearing about related government decisions at the same time as the public. 
  • Your hospital cannot control the unknown, but it can manage expectations. If you cannot offer insights into a future state, then offer context – how vaccine distribution has evolved, why vaccine allocation isn't ideal, which rollout challenges your system is facing.
  • Continue your hospital's position as a trusted healthcare authority – even if it means you can't always be the one to execute. For instance, if you lack adequate vaccine supply, you can maintain patient trust by referring the patient to a specific location. 
  • Israel has been the fastest to roll out vaccines, and they’ve hit a tipping point where supply outpaces demand, forcing the country to double down on vaccine education efforts. U.S. health systems should prepare to act as educators as we get closer to achieving herd immunity.

Ways to co-exist with retail while staying competitive

  • Retailers have entered the COVID-19 vaccine discussion, posing a long-term competitive threat to health systems. 
  • Lower patient volume for top-of-funnel services like vaccinations reduces the number of opportunities within health systems' more profitable mid-to-bottom-of-funnel services. 
  • Health systems must still be the voice of truth and educate the public on the importance of getting vaccinated – even if they are not administering as many people. 

What to prepare for if you decide to step back from vaccine distribution 

  • If your health system chooses to pause, stop, or scale back on vaccine distribution efforts, you should prepare a plan to maintain mid-to-bottom-of-funnel patient volume. 
  • Scaling back on vaccine distribution could impact your health system's ability to secure supply in the future. Be sure to prepare for this whiplash effect if your system chooses to pause, stop, or reduce vaccine distribution efforts. 

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