HSE Case Study - GP and pharmacy COVID 19 vaccination program rollout

Coordinating all COVID vaccines administered through GPs and pharmacists, which is a third of all vaccines given during the pandemic.

Challenge and background:

VISION was engaged to mobilise and lead the programme that vaccinated people through their GPs and local pharmacies, for approximately one-third of the population. It included recruiting, training personnel and developing simple but effective technology from scratch, managing complex coordination with an unpredictable supply chain in a rapidly evolving situation.


VISION’s Promise:

VISION promised to distribute vaccines equitably, at pace, to 1,400 GPs and later to 1,000 pharmacies across the country, starting with the country’s most vulnerable patients. A critical goal was to minimise vaccine waste while delivering a first-class service to GPs, pharmacists, and patients.

What VISION did:

• Trained and developed a team of relationship managers (RMs) to serve as the voice of GPs in the Vaccine Rollout Programme and provide GPs with top-class customer service to minimise complaints and possible political fallout. Mobilised a small number of key coordination practices to handle the constant change and uncertainty:
o Change Request Meeting to let RM’s triage GPs requests with senior management and resolve conflicting priorities. RM’s were trained to assess the mood of GPs and use that to inform the triage; they knew which GPs were particularly anxious, desperate, or irritated.
o Rolling Planning Meeting bringing all stakeholders together to coordinate deliveries up to 3 weeks out; this helped the team identify problems early and reduce waste.
o Daily Resolver Meetings with HSE’s National Primary Care Team to bring urgent issues and concerns and to ensure they could stay engaged with the programme.

Outcomes and Benefits:

• The GP/Pharmacy Vaccine Support Team successfully coordinated the administration of over 2 million vaccine doses through GPs and pharmacies.
• GP calls were reduced from 200-300 per day in the 1st week of the project to 0-20 calls within four weeks when GPs trusted their RM to keep them informed.
• Ireland delivered one of the most successful vaccine rollouts globally. GPs and pharmacies have played a significant role in this success.

Watch Dr. Jennifer Martin, HSE Quality & Patient Safety Intelligence HSE, tell the story.

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