Valley View Hospital Coordinates Thousands of COVID-19 Vaccinations With AlertMedia
- OperationsEnables the organization to share critical information with more than 1,000 employees across 8 locations within seconds.
- EfficiencySimplifies complex logistical tasks such as vaccine scheduling, shift changes, and emergency response.
- SafetyKeeps employees connected during emergency events, improving health and safety outcomes.
- MoraleAllows the organization to stay connected with its community, increasing morale and reducing stress in challenging times.
Valley View Streamlines Operations With Effective Communication
Founded in 1955, Valley View is an independent, nonprofit healthcare system based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado with an integrated network of physician practices, specialty centers, and hospitals that provide care across the health spectrum. At Valley View, putting patients first and prioritizing the local community are two core values at the heart of the organization, with each staff member, physician, and volunteer taking a patient-centered approach to care.
Based in an area prone to severe weather and natural disasters—including blizzards, landslides, and wildfires—Valley View is no stranger to emergencies that require fast and accurate communication. However, when the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Glenwood Springs in December of 2020, Valley View found that it needed a way to effectively and efficiently communicate critical information about local cases and vaccine availability to the community as well as coordinating shift scheduling with its staff. Using AlertMedia, the hospital has since administered thousands of vaccines across the Glenwood Springs area without losing a single dose, including rapidly administering vaccines to frontline workers, the elderly, and teachers. To streamline this process, Valley View Hospital leverages the two-way communication capabilities of AlertMedia to survey community members and confirm their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. The system also has allowed the hospital to determine the number of people to expect, ensuring sufficient staffing and helping to avoid the loss of critical doses when supply is limited. With AlertMedia, Valley View can communicate directly with thousands of employees and local community members to coordinate resources for vaccine disbursement and keep its community safe and protected.
Frequent Crisis Necessitates a Modern Emergency Communication Solution
Prior to adopting AlertMedia in 2019, Valley View did not have an emergency communication system in place. With their hospital nestled in a Colorado mountain valley prone to landslides and wildfires, Valley View’s security team sought a solution that would keep their team connected and prepared to respond to emergencies.
With AlertMedia, Valley View can now rapidly communicate with employees in the event of severe weather and other disruptive events to ensure employees’ safety and understand who might not be able to report for their planned shifts. For example, when one of Colorado’s largest wildfires—the Grizzly Creek Fire—burned just three miles from their hospital, Valley View deployed multi-channel, two-way notifications to verify the safety of 1,100 staff members and ensure their hospital was staffed and secure.
At the onset of the pandemic, Valley View utilized AlertMedia to communicate with employees regarding coronavirus updates, testing availability, and PPE shortages. In the months since vaccines became available, the hospital has used AlertMedia’s survey notifications to develop a fluid operation that allows them to schedule vaccination appointments and send reminders with ease. By leveraging AlertMedia to streamline processes, Valley View can check people in efficiently, screen them for allergies, and administer a vaccine in just a matter of minutes.
“We started by vaccinating our employees, but our model was so strong that we’ve taken the lead in our county. Our average throughput time is two minutes and 30 seconds,” says Josh Anderson, Valley View’s Manager of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management. “This allows us to vaccinate not only our employees, but also other healthcare workers, teachers, smaller organizations, and private practices.”
Two-Way Messaging Instantly Connects Thousands
Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are only viable for six hours before they expire—making an efficient distribution plan essential to the hospital’s success. With AlertMedia, Valley View’s operations team can accurately calculate expected “no show” rates for a specific day by sending pre-appointments surveys to patients. Based on these responses, the hospital can rapidly identify appointment openings and offer available doses to people who are waiting for the vaccine when a spot becomes vacant. As a result, Valley View has administered thousands of vaccinations without any waste.
Says Anderson, “AlertMedia has provided our hospital with the ability to quickly and effectively coordinate thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations for our community members. We’ve administered over 23,000 doses with no dose going to waste.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose administered 21 and 28 days, respectively, after patients receive their first shot. Because of this staggered schedule, survey notifications proved to be a key component of Valley View’s disbursement plan. “We used survey notifications to let people know our online portals were open so that they could sign up for their first dose of the vaccine,” says Anderson. “We also used this system as an appointment reminder for the second dose. This was especially helpful because the second dose tends to slip people’s minds—it’s several weeks later, often in the middle of a workday.”
In a hospital, the need to communicate both internally and externally is essential. With a modern communication tool at their disposal, Valley View can coordinate vaccines with outside organizations, including other health care facilities and local school districts, to help protect essential workers and at-risk members of the community. As a result, more than 90 percent of teachers and greater than 95 percent of individuals 70-years-old or older in Garfield County have been vaccinated.
When Disaster Strikes, Every Minute Counts
In an emergency, the last thing an organization should worry about is how to get the message out to its people. AlertMedia’s customizable, easy-to-use, two-way communication features make communicating with employees during emergencies fast and simple.
For example, with AlertMedia’s fill-in-the-blank communication templates, Valley View can quickly tailor messages to multiple channels and audiences, putting them ahead of the clock when a critical event occurs. While the system’s intuitive design and fast, two-way messaging appealed to the hospital’s security team, it was AlertMedia’s customer service that ultimately made a lasting impression on Valley View Hospital.
“What made AlertMedia stand out for us was the ease of use and customer service,” says Anderson. “Not only is the product great, but what’s even better is having a rep who works with me each time I have questions regarding building, crafting, and sending messages to my community members. It’s saving us minutes, if not hours, in the long run.”
The ability to verify message receipt with read confirmations also saves Valley View critical time in emergent situations. By confirming who among their workforce received a message and who did not, they can immediately follow-up with those in need of help. “I can give that information to our administration and ask that they cold-call or ensure the accuracy of our contact information. It saves us so much time, especially in disaster scenarios. The only thing we can’t buy is time and AlertMedia gives us that time back.”
Effective Communication Builds Strong Communities
What was once a single-story hospital funded by locals has since grown into a thriving regional medical center spearheading COVID-19 vaccinations for an entire community. From an unprecedented pandemic to natural disasters and severe weather, Valley View Hospital is no stranger to challenges, and now with AlertMedia in place, the organization can communicate with both hospital staff and their surrounding community in a matter of seconds.
By linking a modern communication tool with staff expertise and quality service, Valley View can continue to accomplish its mission of putting patients first. “Four years ago, mass communication didn’t exist at Valley View. Now that we have AlertMedia, we can’t see ourselves living without it,” says Anderson. “AlertMedia absolutely has had a direct impact on protecting our local community from COVID-19, and we are happy to have it.”