CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE) – Chicago’s Saint Anthony Hospital recently expanded its outreach program as part of an effort by the Chicago City Council to serve people from some of the city’s most deprived neighborhoods where adoption has been low. This meant a doubling of the daily capacity. It was the use of an innovative planning tool that is offered free of charge by simulation experts Simul8who contributed to this.
With 500 additional vaccinations in one day for the Brighton Park community – mostly Hispanic and other ethnic minorities who were reluctant or unable to report – the hospital had a week to prepare.
Saint Anthony’s had been getting between 300 and 500 vaccinations a day, requiring significant changes to resource allocation and patient path planning for the pop-up clinic day, and then four weeks later for the second dose.
The hospital turned to technology for help, using advanced modeling software to simulate patient flow at twice the capacity to make the necessary adjustments. This was made possible by the generous pro bono support from Simul8. The company reached out to health organizations during the pandemic to offer free access to its software that can be used from planning intensive care beds to doing COVID testing or introducing vaccinations.
Dr. Eden Takhsh, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Saint Anthony Hospital said, “A digital model was created to visualize exactly what it would take to increase our efforts. It allowed us to test and tweak everything from the number of additional registrars to the duration of each vaccination, to reconfiguring physical space and creating a safe patient flow.
“It is important to remember that receiving the vaccine is a significant event for anyone who walks through our doors, especially as we are trying to build trust with those who are nervous or suspicious. In order to make the experience as positive as possible, it was imperative that we offer everyone the same high level of service.
“I was also aware of the additional pressure on our employees. The only road to success was to have a well-organized system in place, and simulation was essential in making these important optimization decisions. ”
A total of 470 vaccinations were given that day.