The past two weeks, I've been part of an initiative that's like a social-benefit startup effort within a startup. It's a free platform called VacciNexus that connects healthcare professionals who are engaged in process improvements related to Covid-19 vaccinations.
You can also read the FAQ page from the KaiNexus site.
The first blog post was written just as the platform was being opened to invited early adopters — encouraging people to share. The second post was written after the initial folks started participating.
Now, as I'm writing this post, it's starting to build momentum.
We Need to Work Together
Collaborate to Improve the COVID Vaccination Process
An obsession with process improvement is, to me, something to be celebrated — those healthcare heroes who believe (and demonstrate) that there is always a better way.
If you know the series of TV commercials for Postmates, such as this one that's a pharmaceutical ad that's viewed through the lens of somebody who is hungry for Pad Thai:
The punchline is the garbled phrase, “When all you can Pad Thai is think about…”
Well, the same idea can apply to process improvement minded people who are setting up and improving vaccination centers:
But people are thinking about Lean because they're focused on the patients and their communities — it's an end to a means.
People are sharing their “small Kaizen” improvements through the VacciNexus system. One of those improvements that was shared on the platform was about putting up a “quick and easy kaizen board” similar to what I write about and teach… inspired by the lessons shared by the late Norm Bodek.
See examples of this type of sharing that's none in the physical, analog world:
The VacciNexus system, powered by Kainexus, allows for virtual and digital sharing across organizations (and across borders).
Now, at this writing, the main constraint is the supply and flow of vaccines. That's not a problem that can be solved through local vaccination center kaizen improvements. That needs to be solved by the vaccine producers and coordinating governments.
That said, the floodgates are expected to open up in April.
That means the time for planning our higher-volume vaccine operations is…. NOW.
Dr. Fauci predicts “virtually everybody” could start getting vaccinated in April as states grapple with shortages
Many vaccination sites have been closing for days or have been running lower volumes due to those supply constraints. But, we can see a day when those constraints will be gone… so let's not be surprised and scrambling come April.
There are some organizations that have been vaccinating thousands of people per day (when they can) and they've been sharing their process improvements in VacciNexus.
One example: Many systems have been working to improve their communications so they can get more staff to accept the vaccine. Two organizations shared how they had “Myth Buster” communications on bulletin boards and other channels. It was surprising to me that one organization reported that some staff were offended or upset at the use of the word “myth.”
“We also found that the Myth busting section of the board seemed critical to staff who were concerned about side effects and long term effects of vaccination, as though we were writing off their legitimate concerns as myths. We reframed this section as addressing concerns, rather than busting myths.”
Does that mean that people everywhere are going to be upset by the phrase “myth busting”? Maybe not, but maybe there is a transferrable lesson here.
We expect that the continued submissions to VacciNexus will fall into these categories:
- Communication (Patient, Internal, and Reporting)
- Satisfaction (Patient and Staff/Volunteer)
- Patient Access (Appointments, Patient Wait Time, Post-Vaccination Observation, Equity)
- Vaccines & Supplies (Vaccine Availability, Reducing Vaccine Waste, Supplies)
- Safety (Vaccination Rates, Patient Safety, Staff & Volunteer Safety)
There's so much room for improvement. There's so much NEED for improvement. We hope that our platform will continue to be helpful as healthcare works on this important challenge.
If you're doing this type of process improvement work, apply for a free account today.
* Participation is limited to those who work for a healthcare organization or government entity. Please sign up with your work email address. *
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