Mass vaccinations are one of the most important tools in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and colleges and universities are some of the main sites used to conduct these important public health events. But the logistics of managing such a site, which can handle well over a thousand vaccination appointments in a single day, can certainly be daunting — even for schools that are used to dealing with huge crowds. Fortunately, QLess can give you the help you need to conduct mass vaccination clinics effectively and keep traffic moving efficiently through their appointment management software.

COVID-19 vaccinations are fundamentally a quick process: verify some identification and health background information, administer the injection, allow a few minutes of waiting on-site to make sure there are no dangerous reactions, and get the patient on their way. If done smoothly, the whole process can take less than a half-hour from start to finish. But for universities hosting vaccination events, processing the most people they can on a daily basis includes far more considerations. There’s advertising the event, planning parking, and securing both enough certified healthcare providers to administer the injections and enough volunteers to help with everything else. On top of all that, there’s the massive logistical issue of managing so many appointments in as little time as possible — the University of Florida, for example, conducted a “vaccination blitz” that aimed to administer 120,000 vaccinations in just six weeks.

Managing some of these things, like parking and the general flow of people should be familiar to colleges and universities who are used to hosting sports, concerts, speakers, and other major events. While social distancing requirements have changed the details, the general approach should be much the same. It’s the appointments themselves that add a new wrinkle to the process, and that’s where queue management software comes in.

woman getting vaccinated

Appointment management software and virtual scheduling automate much of the administrative work that goes into managing appointments, which can be incredibly beneficial when you’re talking about handling such a massive volume of individual appointments. Operational efficiency is the key here, and that’s where scheduling software shines. Smart appointment management software can send automated reminders to make sure people don’t forget about their appointments, which helps stop one of the biggest causes of inefficiency: missed appointments.

Think about it this way — when someone misses an appointment, you’re left operating at less than full capacity. That lowers your overall numbers, but it also leaves your staff and volunteers with unnecessary downtime, and it means leftover vaccines — a valuable thing that may go to waste, depending on the shelf life of the particular type. To go back to the example from the University of Florida, if the school expects to administer 120,000 vaccinations and experiences even a 10% no-show rate, you’re talking about 12,000 unused doses and thousands of wasted hours. And with some vaccine providers reporting 15% no-show rates, this indicates the potential for a major problem.

Automated reminders can help curb these no-show rates and keep things moving on schedule. And they’re just one benefit of relying on smart appointment management software like QLess to help run your university public health program.

In the long, ongoing fight against COVID-19, it’s necessary to use every advantage possible to gain an edge over the virus. Colleges and universities are doing their part by hosting mass vaccination events, and QLess is doing theirs by making these events easier and more efficient to manage.