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Taking the Pain Out of Vaccination Process


Image: Leigh Prather -
The COVID-19 vaccination process is offering much peace of mind about the pandemic, but many people have reported frustration over busy signals, poor customer service, and scheduling mistakes as they seek answers about eligibility, available locations, and appointment booking. Since distribution began in December, a variety of industry vendors have developed offerings aimed at taking the pain out of the vaccination process, in one way or another, as we’ve previously covered on No Jitter.
Among them is communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) provider IntelePeer, which offers an automated bilingual self-service hotline that vaccination providers can use to pre-screen callers and collect pre-registration data before forwarding the caller to a live person for scheduling. With the IntelePeer Atmosphere platform, they can combine communications channels (voice, text, social media, etc.) and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to interconnect the pieces, Frank Fawzi, president, and CEO, IntelePeer, said in a call with No Jitter. He touted the platform’s ability to handle large-scale demand, of up to 150,000 simultaneous callers, with intelligent automation.
Counties, cities, grocery stores, and pharmacies in four states are using the Atmosphere-based self-service hotline to support their vaccination programs, Fawzi said. Residents are able to schedule and confirm vaccine appointments, then providers can send them appointment reminders via SMS and give them access to additional customer service hotlines set up to address frequently asked questions.
One state, which Fawzi said he couldn’t disclose, requested that IntelePeer have the CPaaS platform up and running for its use the next morning. “We turned it around in about eight hours,” and within a few days, 30,000 residents had scheduled appointments and almost two months later, the state hasn’t reported a single busy signal, he added.
Along the same lines, Avaya and Twilio offer CPaaS-related COVID-19 options. Avaya touts its OneCloud CPaaS as helping healthcare providers and government agencies with contract tracing, identifying, and reaching priority populations, appointment management, safety monitoring, and more. Twilio, on the other hand, has rolled out a vaccine distribution option that lets providers send mass notifications about COVID-19 vaccines, create self-service experiences for patients, and conduct health surveys.
Other industry vendors that have delivered vaccine administration-related offerings in the last couple of months include Talkdesk, Genesys, and Nuance. Talkdesk CX Cloud relies on multiple features to streamline a patient’s vaccine administration, while Genesys enables companies participating in the execution of Operation Warp Speed to provide real-time information for vaccine availability, distribution, and support scheduling across different channels. Nuance has combined its conversational AI technology with healthcare and domain expertise to predict questions and craft responses to them, for use across different communications channels.
Positive user experiences largely affect outcomes. With a large, diverse population, delivering the answers of how, when, and where to receive the vaccine is critical — and applying advanced communications technology can only help.