Most articles covering vaccine roll-out appointment scheduling solutions have been surface level. They’ve mostly focused on high visibility failures of appointment scheduling systems at a regional or local level, but without truly exploring why failures occurred or how to make improvements for the future.
Breaking with this trend is a deep-dive article from The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette authored by Sam Ogozalek that is investigative journalism at its best.
I first spoke with Ogozalek in October, and provided background and context to help him understand the history behind the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) appointment system, which was using the CDC’s VAMS system. Ogozalek has written a well sourced article that uses internal departmental emails, interviews with multiple officials, and core research to provide a nuanced view of the challenge the state had in providing a system to its citizens.
I hope that this article gets syndicated widely and is read by officials and technology providers alike. Kudos to the The Island Packet regional newspaper, and to Sam Ogozalek, who is covering COVID-19 recovery efforts. Sam is also a Report for America corps member, and I trust he will have a bright future ahead of him.
The TASBIA™ Bottom Line
Our organization has covered appointment scheduling for vaccinations extensively. In April 2020 we proposed a way to handle Covid-19 testing appointments at massive scale, and suggested ways that Reserve with Google could improve their system.
Some of these ideas have been implemented and we’re thankful to those who have helped improve the appointment scheduling systems to meet the challenge of COVID-19. With the new Omicron variant, we’re hopeful that “lessons learned” from previous experience will help ease the burden for those looking to get tested, vaccinated or receive booster shots.
— Cimarron Buser, CEO, The Appointment Scheduling & Booking Industry Association
Please see SC officials raised concerns about this vaccine sign-up system, but DHEC still chose to use it. Why?