The COVID-19 pandemic is testing both the adaptability and resilience of pharmacy practice to meet the community’s needs. There has been no shortage of challenges during Canada’s most extensive vaccine campaign. From changing health mandates to limited supply and adapting to these changes overnight, pharmacies have proven time and time again that we are capable. As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to maintain the momentum we have built these past few months. 

 

Vaccine hesitancy is beginning to be an issue pharmacies are experiencing, as many have doses leftover at the end of the day. As of June 2021, nearly 20% of Canadians are hesitant or refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine[1]. MedEssist has played an active role in the vaccine rollout by helping pharmacies across Canada manage their COVID-19 appointments. However, the next chapter of this battle revolves around tackling vaccine hesitancy and ensuring patients come in for both doses. Studies show that the most effective intervention to target vaccine hesitancy revolves around counseling patients to increase their knowledge and awareness[2].  

 

MedEssist understands that pharmacists are accessible and highly trusted by their communities as front-line health care providers. Hence, as the role of the pharmacist evolves, we are launching a new program to help you fight vaccine hesitancy in your community and build goodwill with your patients. This will not cause any disruptions to your current workflow as you have complete control over turning on/off consultation appointments based on your schedule.  

 

This program will allow patients to use bookmyshot.com to find a pharmacy in their location that speaks their language, and register to receive a phone call to have their questions answered. This voluntary program can be promoted with pre-designed posters, to help you build goodwill in your community.  

 

By creating an account at medessist.ca you will receive FREE access to our COVID-19 vaccine consultation system, as well as a listing on bookmyshot.com. Even if your pharmacy does not use MedEssist as their appointment management system, this platform can be used as a consultation service or a lead generator. After the consultation, if the patient wishes to receive their vaccine, you can either seamlessly book them in for their appointment using the MedEssist booking platform, or schedule them into any other booking system.

 

To learn more about MedEssist’s vaccine hesitancy platform, please watch this short video. 

Here at MedEssist, we are continuously releasing new features tailored towards the final stages of the pandemic. Once set up with a free MedEssist account, you will be able to: 

  • Turn on direct bookings for patients as your demand for the vaccine slows down. This allows for real-time bookings and a quicker turnaround of appointments.
  • During the COVID-19 campaign, we have been actively triaging patients interested in receiving other consultation services. Thus, you will be able to participate in our HPV consultations module, which can help our pharmacies generate thousands of dollars in revenue. 
  • Coming soon: a convenient new way for any patient to complete medication refills through our platform. 

Together let’s continue this momentum and finish off strong during this home stretch.  

 

OPA members can save up to $10 a month off MedEssist. To learn more about how MedEssist can help with scheduling and managing vaccine appointments, ensuring the safety of patients and staff, and avoiding vaccine wastage, visit: opatoday.com/medessist/.  

 

References 

[1] https://globalnews.ca/news/7960345/covid-canada-vaccine-hesitancy-poll/  

[2] https://www.who.int/immunization/sage/meetings/2014/october/3_SAGE_WG_Strategies_addressing_vaccine_hesitancy_2014.pdf