Published on February 1st, 2021 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Prisma Health reaches 100,000 milestone in administering COVID-19 vaccinations
Appointment scheduling system switched to MyChart to register patients more easily, manage appointments more effectively
GREENVILLE, SC – Prisma Health delivered its 100,000 dose of COVID-19 vaccine reaching a new milestone in helping to save lives and protect South Carolinians against coronavirus infections. Since the COVID-19 vaccine was made available mid-December, Prisma Health has administered the most Pfizer vaccinations of any health provider in South Carolina – nearly 30% of the 341,250 doses received in the state, according data posted on the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) COVID-19 vaccine website on Jan. 31.
In response to Gov. McMaster’s earlier request to rapidly increase vaccinations in the state, Prisma Health quickly mobilized and opened two high-volume community vaccination sites in Greenville and Columbia, in addition to its existing 11 hospital vaccination sites. Prisma Health also announced the addition of its new vaccination site in Laurens County, in partnership with Laurens County, the City of Laurens and Presbyterian College. The site opened today, Monday, Feb. 1, replacing the Laurens County Hospital location.
“Last week, South Carolina was recognized as one of the top 10 states in the country for using its available supply of vaccine. This was accomplished by working in close collaboration with our elected officials, health agencies and many other community partners,” said Mark O’Halla, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prisma Health. “I am extremely proud of our entire team in vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”
Because of the rapid expansion and the huge community demand of those eligible to be vaccinated, Prisma Health’s vaccine supply is now extremely low. For the week of Jan. 25, Prisma Health requested 60,000 doses, but received just 19,500 doses, which is just 33%. Due to the lack of vaccine supply, the Prisma Health mass-vaccination site in the Upstate was closed on Jan. 30 and expected to reopen at today, Feb. 1 at noon. All other Upstate vaccination sites also were closed through noon on Feb. 1 due to lack of vaccine supply, except the new Laurens site, which opened as scheduled in the morning. Those with scheduled appointments are already being rescheduled.
Next week, South Carolina is expected to receive an additional weekly allotment of 10,000 Moderna vaccines, bringing the S.C. total to approximately 72,000 per week, according to DHEC. “This is welcome news, but we do not yet know how this affects Prisma Health’s weekly allotment, as we currently only receive the Pfizer vaccine,” said Dr. Richard “Rick” Scott, Prisma Health chief clinical officer in the Midlands and co-chair of the Prisma Health Vaccine Task Force. “We want to reassure the community of our commitment to administer as many shots in the arms of those who are currently eligible. While this is a national vaccine supply problem, not just a problem for Prisma Health or South Carolina, we are optimistic that vaccine supplies will increase in the coming months.”
Prisma Health also began using its MyChart patient portal for booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments at locations system-wide rather than the Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Administration Management System (CDC VAMS) platform, effective today, Feb. 1. The change allows Prisma Health to register patients more easily, manage appointments more effectively, and provide better technical assistance to the public. Appointments already in the CDC VAMS system are being automatically transferred into MyChart for Prisma Health. Individuals who don’t have a MyChart account can visit mychart.prismahealth.org and click Sign Up Online or call Prisma Health at 1-833-2PRISMA to receive scheduling assistance.
To ensure the vaccine reaches those in rural areas with challenges registering for the vaccine or traveling for vaccinations, Prisma Health is receiving its first mobile vaccination van at the end of the week, with plans to be on the road shortly. When fully operational this spring, a total of five mobile vans will be deployed throughout Prisma Health’s regions.
“We are committed to an equitable and fair distribution of our vaccines, including through our mobile van program, one-on-one telephone assistance for those without computer access and by offering limited walk-in appointments for as long as daily supplies allow at the several of our vaccination sites,” said Dr. Saria Saccocio, Prisma Health chief medical officer for Ambulatory Services and co-chair of the Prisma Health Vaccine Task Force.
Each vaccination site manages walk-in access as vaccine supply allow according to what is available that day. Updates on walk-in availability are posted on Prisma Health’s web site, www.PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine or are available by contacting the Prisma Health call center (1-833-2PRISMA (1-833-277-4762).
“We are very fortunate to have two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. for Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, with more vaccines to follow soon,” Saccocio said. “Now we have to be patient as supplies ramp up. We are ready to continue expanding our vaccine distribution to serve all of our communities just as quickly as we receive vaccine doses to do so.”
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 outpatient sites with nearly 2,000 physicians, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals.