Why the CDC is Partnering with Pharmacies for the COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout

To reduce clinician burden and streamline the vaccination process against COVID-19, the CDC has partnered with pharmacies around the country to help manage vaccinations in long-term care facilities. Under this partnership, pharmacies will start and manage the vaccination process for LTC facilities, thereby allowing clinicians to refocus their efforts back to their primary job duties for taking care of residents. Both residents and staff members at LTCs will be vaccinated through this program. After vaccinations are given, the pharmacy will upload data to the appropriate immunization registry

Right now, 52 jurisdictions have already implemented this program for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Read on to learn more about the process and how it can improve the vaccination rollout during the upcoming months. 

Overview of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program 

Under this program, LTC providers can enjoy end-to-end management for the vaccination process, thus removing the burden of managing their state’s immunization registry themselves.

Nurse Talking to Senior Couple in Residential Care Home
Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have partnered with the CDC to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for nursing home residents. 

In November of 2020, long-term care facilities had the option to sign up for the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program by the CDC. The goal of the pharmacy partnership is to offer on-site vaccination services for residents and staff in long-term care facilities around the country. LTCs can enjoy complete end-to-end management of the vaccine process through the Pharmacy Partnership program. In turn, this should reduce clinician burden for healthcare providers working for these LTCs. This program also comes at no extra cost to participating facilities. 

Participating Pharmacies

Both CVS and Walgreens are participating in the program. Other select pharmacies that are part of the Managed Health Care Associates (MHA) network, such as Pharmscript and Senior Care Pharmacy are also participants. 

When a long-term care facility signed up for the program, they could choose a specific pharmacy partner. The CDC would then make sure each facility was paired to its requested partner. Once the match was made, the pharmacy could reach out to the LTCs they were paired with to coordinate vaccination efforts. 

Other significant players involved in the program include:

  • Various jurisdictions
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • American Health Care Association (AHCA)
  • Leading Age

Benefits of the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program

The Pharmacy Partnership's primary benefit for the LTC Program is the reduction of clinician burden it affords healthcare workers. Instead of juggling COVID-19 vaccination efforts and their regular duties, healthcare providers can prioritize their main duty of taking care of residents. 

It will be up to the pharmacies to schedule and coordinate vaccination sites for the LTC facilities they have been partnered for rollout. They will also need to manage vaccine administration and report data to relevant providers. 

In addition to nursing home residents, healthcare staff can also receive COVID-19 vaccinations through the program. This reduces the chance of staff and residents infecting each other in such close quarters.

Current Vaccination Process Under the New Program

Under this program, pharmacies maintain full control over vaccination efforts at their assigned LTC facilities. This includes:

  • Ordering supplies such as vaccines, syringes, and PPE
  • Scheduling and setting up on-site vaccinations
  • Managing cold chain management for the vaccine
  • Reporting vaccination data to various government agencies 

Introducing Pub Hub 2.0 for Healthcare Providers

Other organizations will still need a streamlined process for tracking vaccinations.

Map of mainland United States of America
 Pub Hub 2.0 by Iron Bridge can connect you to different EHRs, pharmacy systems, and health and safety information systems around the country. 

EHR vendors and pharmacies across the country rely on streamlined point-to-point connections to upload and track vaccinations.  Pub Hub 2.0 plays a crucial role in this process by functioning as a platform for facilitating the flow of immunization data among different parties. 

It is connected to every immunization registry based in the U.S., thereby giving clients bi-directional access to each of these registries. Currently, Pub Hub 2.0 is connected to the New York Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Immunization Program, and many other state registries. 

In addition to implementing the software into your current systems, Iron Bridge will also provide 24.7 interface monitoring in order to help you get the most out of the product. 

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out both domestically and abroad, it’s imperative for organizations to follow streamlined processes for distributing and tracking them among patients. Health IT solutions like Pub Hub 2.0 make it easier than ever for healthcare providers to access different immunization registries across the country. 

Does your organization need a streamlined IT solution for tracking and reporting COVID-19 vaccinations? Our professional team of IT experts can help connect you to registries around the nation through Pub Hub 2.0. Contact the team today for more information!

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