When People Start Sharing Their Amazing Covid Vaccination Improvements

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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.

I've blogged about it on on the websites of the two main partners in this effort, Value Capture and KaiNexus.

Encouraging Vaccinating Organizations to See, Solve, and Share Process Problems

and

Sharing Covid Vaccination Process Improvements – VacciNexus!

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

http://vaccinexus.com/

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.

Screenshots from 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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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

5 Comments
  1. Mark Graban says

    Some updates I have shared on LinkedIn:

  2. Josh Jimenez says

    I like that lean improvements are being implemented in all aspects of life. Traditionally people only think of process improvements being applied o industry like manufacturing. When it realty we could apply it to so much more. Keep it up with the interesting articles.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks, Josh.

  3. Alex B. says

    This is a very interesting article about how companies and healthcares are coming together for process improvement within the VacciNexus platform. By sharing results and letting others be aware of the findings of each company, this could allow for a very successful vaccine. This article also did a great job talking about the current vaccination shortage in some areas across the country. Even though Fauci stated that most people would be able to start getting vaccinated by April, this is a large stretch. Multiple companies have already been approved and have been pumping their production facilities to the max and there still are shortages. Do you think that this will be the case? I just don’t see a possible way for these companies to producing the amount needed to cover most of the United States in the next few months unless they are having others help with the production of the vaccine.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Alex. Dr. Fauci did back off of the April statement… more like June?

      ARTICLE LINK

      It’s a very fluid situation. Depends on J&J vaccine approval and manufacturing rampups…

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