Lake County, IL is a Trailblazer in developing
an integrated vaccine orchestration strategy
on the cloud.

 
The Lake County Health Department (LCHD) in Northern Illinois is tackling vaccine orchestration with their mission top of mind: promoting the health and well-being of all who live, work, and play in Lake County. Lake County is home to over 700,000 people and welcomes thousands of others, from people commuting in to work at the many Fortune 500 companies that call Lake County home to tourists visiting the county’s 75 glacial lakes and local attractions.
 
The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Joint Commission. The agency offers a broad spectrum of personal and community services that include environmental health, prevention and health promotion, population health, behavioral health, and primary care at its community health centers.
“We have three groups of customers — residents, commuters, and visitors — who together create a community without distinct borders,  something that was underscored by the onset of COVID-19 and (as of late) the news of the vaccine,” said Jefferson McMillan-Wilhoit, Director of Health Informatics and Technology at LCHD.  We have to be ready to help, protect, and vaccinate more than just Lake County residents in order to meet our mission.”

Successful vaccine management requires the orchestration of policy and procedure.

Like many public health departments across the country, LCHD has adopted the CDC’s guidelines to help determine how to equitably distribute the initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Equitable distribution is paramount — protecting frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents, followed by the elderly, those at greater risk in their workplace, those with preexisting conditions , and so on.

The team also began thinking about strategy: identifying distribution sites and drive-through options to make sure vaccines are accessible across the county, knowing how to manage storage and distribution, and creating a way for residents to receive timely communication about the vaccine, catered to their unique needs.

“We had to think through both policy and procedure,” said McMillan-Wilhoit. “And that was difficult because there are more unknowns than knowns. Usually you have an idea in terms of capacity, system requirements, and timeline. But we are expecting COVID-19 demand will supersede the scale of, say, H1N1. We are still getting information on how we need to report back to state and federal agencies. And we anticipated the vaccine to still be several months out — but knowing it was coming, we had to be prepared, and we knew the pairing of policy with technology was the way to orchestrate all of this.”

Lake County uses customer relationship management to orchestrate vaccine management.

McMillan-Wilhoit and team selected strategy and technology partner Slalom to deploy the Lake County AllVax Portal, an online vaccine registration and orchestration system deployed on the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform for Government. The platform acts as a single source of truth for Lake County community members that guides them through the process, step by step:

Step 1: Community members enter the AllVax portal via Experience Cloud, where they are prompted to create a profile and get answers to frequently asked questions via articles and information served up by Knowledge:

Step 2: Customer information is captured in an (HL7-ready) electronic health record in Health Cloud, which LCHD will use to determine eligibility based on what vaccination stage the county is in:
Step 3: Once customers are deemed eligible, they are notified to log back into ALLVax by email and/or messaging alerts via Marketing Cloud and schedule their appointment — as well as opt in to receive important communications at various checkpoints throughout their vaccination journey:

Digital Engagement was layered on top of AllVax, allowing LCHD staff to answer specific questions via text message as easily as they might over email or phone. Shield was also added, helping to bring an additional layer of security to the system and to enable LCHD to comply with applicable privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

“Vaccine management and distribution is a highly complex undertaking and required technical complexity to match that,” said Daniel Burkhardt, Solution Architect, Slalom. “We focused on developing a solution that serves Lake County’s diverse population. Our experience design experts made industry requirements and LCHD mission criteria actionable.”

AllVax serves as a comprehensive portal for Lake County employees, too.

MuleSoft’s API capabilities facilitate data sharing and integration with state and federal systems automatically (think: percentage of vaccines administered or adverse event reports) reducing the amount of manual data entry work that might have otherwise taken up time and energy. Tableau offers advanced data analytics tools, which LCHD can use to determine inventory status, spot trends, pinpoint catalysts, and inform resource planning as vaccination phases continue to broaden.

“It’s an efficient, flexible system with a human-centered design that allows us to accommodate sudden changes in policy or procedure in an integrated way,” said McMillan-Wilhoit.

Early results give insight to AllVax’s impact potential.

AllVax went live in just eight weeks. Since that time, over 200,000 people have already signed up for the COVID-19 vaccination program, which “we see as a sign that people feel safe, and trust our ability to handle the logistics,” said McMillan-Wilhoit.

AllVax also gives the LCHD team the ability to monitor the following metrics, which will serve as valuable performance indicators with respect to Lake County’s fight against COVID-19:

  • Number of people registered for vaccination
  • Number vaccinated
  • Number of people eligible for vaccination
  • How these numbers compare to Lake County’s total number of potential community members
  • Occupation (that is, what percent registered and/or vaccinated are considered essential workers?)
  • Number of reported pr-existing or chronic conditions
  • And, most importantly, how well LCDH is meeting equitable distribution goals, looking at percentages compared to demographic data from across the community

“The AllVax system is an important piece of our integrated strategy,” said McMillan-Wilhoit. “It enables a dedicated team with a thoughtful plan to work with the community in taking action against COVID-19.”

 

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