Mount Sinai is booking 100 patients a minute to receive the COVID-19 vaccine using Zocdoc's new scheduling service
- New York City's
Mount Sinaihospital system has already had 100,000 healthcareworkers and patients sign up to receive the Covid-19 vaccineusing Zocdoc's new immunization scheduling feature.
- Zocdoc's CEO said the new service is the company's "contribution to this public health effort."
Mount Sinai, New York City's largest academic medical system, has booked more than 100,000
In the last two days, the Zocdoc Vaccine Scheduler booked about 100 Covid-19 immunization appointments per minute for the hospital, already maxing out the available doses at the facility, Zocdoc Founder and CEO Oliver Kharraz told Insider.
"It's our contribution to this public health effort," Kharraz said. The vaccine rollout "is just too important to get wrong, and that's why we felt we had to act."
Zocdoc is a digital healthcare marketplace where patients can find doctors, book appointments, and attend virtual visits. The new vaccine scheduling service is free to use and now available to hospitals and public and private health systems across the country. Zocdoc expects more care organizations to "go live" with the the new service in the coming weeks. "We're looking to partner with everyone who needs help with this," Kharraz said.
The scheduling tool's rollout comes as US state health departments have struggled to deliver coronavirus shots in pace with the timeline put forward by Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's coronavirus vaccination initiative. In some cities, the vaccination rollout has been met with long lines and concerns about shortages.
Read more: What's coming next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here's the latest on 11 leading programs.
The app's new service was the "obvious choice" for a vaccine program with such "complexity, importance, scope, and speed," said Kelly Cassano, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and the senior vice president for ambulatory operations at Mount Sinai.
Patients using the app will first answer questions as to their eligibility to receive the vaccine under current rollout guidelines. If they are approved, they select where they want to get the vaccine and when. After confirming the appointment, they'll book a time for their second dose, which takes place about a month after the first.
Kharraz said he hopes the new service can help "streamline and accelerate" vaccinations across the country.
Read more: Silicon Valley billionaire investor Vinod Khosla said involving industry insiders in Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine early in development 'would have slowed down' progress
Local health officials have been tasked with coordinating the Covid-19 vaccination rollout by state, and many have said they are still sorting out the logistics. So far, the vaccine rollout has been slow since the immunizations, one from Moderna and another from Pfizer and BioNTech, were approved in mid-December. About 10 million people in the U.S. have received a dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But with the vaccinations approved, Kharraz said, "My hope for us as a country is that we can put the COVID-19 chapter behind us. That's what we're working towards."
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