Vaccine Uptake Requires Early Education to Build Trust and Ongoing Outreach to Ensure Follow Through

Upfront's four-step, turnkey vaccine navigation program

Upfront’s digital vaccine navigation enables health systems and physician practices to engage patients, deliver consistent content about COVID-19 vaccines, convert patients to book vaccines at the right site of care, and eliminate the distraction of inbound calls for front-line healthcare workers

Shipping COVID-19 vaccines to provider organizations is an immense logistical challenge. Health systems and physician clinics face their own challenge of logistics with limited resources: Educating patients about authorized vaccines, persuading them to schedule two timely visits, and reminding them to show up both times to receive the required doses.

Upfront Healthcare, a leading omnichannel communication and patient engagement platform, has developed a digital vaccine program to meet this challenge head on by directly connecting with each patient. Upfront developed messages that explain the science of the vaccines. These messages use health communication principles to build trust and overcome obstacles stemming from various patient beliefs. This content informs patients about authorized vaccines and the distribution process before they are eligible to receive a vaccine, and then prepares them to receive the first dose. Upfront also provides scheduling and patient recall for each vaccine appointment and follow-up messages to check in after each dose.

The information is personalized and delivered through Upfront’s automated platform to reduce the workload on frontline and administrative workers.

“Our experience working with clients this year shows the need to meet patients where they are with simple, contextualized messages about COVID-19 before the patient has an urgent need for information,” said Carrie Kozlowski, Upfront’s co-founder and chief operating officer. “Over the last several months we saw engagement rates exceeding 70 percent for COVID instructions, test results and symptom triage. As our clients pivoted to re-opening, this informative patient engagement experience led to faster rebooking of appointments. The takeaway is clear: Patients want and need expert content grounded in health communications principles from trusted sources to guide them in their care.”

Upfront’s initial outreach asks patients about their likelihood to get the vaccine. Upfront then segments and personalizes vaccine outreach based on each patient’s engagement, reported desire for the vaccine and vaccine priority. Links to microsites containing the personalized information are delivered by Upfront’s platform to the patient’s preferred communication channel (SMS or email).

“Everyone at Upfront is dedicated to making this extraordinary vaccination campaign as seamless as possible for front-line healthcare workers and patients,” Kozlowski said. “Never has it been more important to fulfill Upfront’s mission to improve patient experience, reduce waste and increase operational efficiency in healthcare.”