Tracking COVID-19 Vaccinations Requires Accurate Patient Matching

“This spring break sure does feel long,” said my wife as we settled into another Netflix show to pass the time.  Like most Americans, this has been our life for nine months as we attempt to avoid contact with the outside world—so as not to be counted among the nearly 17 million Americans who have contracted Covid-19. 

We have all experienced the pandemic in different ways: some (my friends and family included) have contracted the virus and suffered through the journey; many have been asked to help notify others after a being exposed to the virus. Contact tracing for Covid-19 continues to challenge many states and public health agencies across the U.S. as they try to identify and track:

  • Who is infected?
  • Who have those people been in contact with?
  • Who needs to be tested?

Since these questions ultimately have identity matching at their core, Verato has been deployed to assist several state agencies and commercial organizations in their efforts.  We have worked with states and publicly funded health information exchanges to embed our identity solutions into the contact tracing applications—from Salesforce to statewide laboratory systems.  In each case, we leveraged our SaaS solution either to ensure the questions listed above were met by unifying information about infected and potentially infected people, and/or to enrich the data with social determinants to assist in public health tracking and predictive analytics. 

Now it seems there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Just this week, the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. With it, the possibility of returning to a normal existence—albeit one that may look a little different and still require a focus on public health—finally seems in reach.  But with this light comes a new challenge: states and healthcare organizations will need to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people quickly, likely using multiple versions of a vaccine. The effort will require, once again, accurate answers to a set of identity questions:

  • Who has received the first dose, and of which vaccine?
  • Who needs a second dose, of which vaccine, in what timeframe?
  • Who needs a follow up?
  • Who has been completely vaccinated and when?

Much like those used for contact tracing, the solutions to track vaccination administration will need to be quick, easy to deploy, data-driven, and yield optimal results even while operating under varied and evolving circumstances.  A wide variety of organizations will need to be involved in vaccinating people and collecting data.  I’m proud that the unique characteristics of Verato’s technology means, much like with contact tracing, we can make a significant contribution to the nationwide effort.  Verato can be deployed quickly to create registries of patient identities from a wide variety of sources, without complex tuning and configuration.  The registries can offer a centralized view of current progress and validation available to state agencies for reporting, analytics, and even real-time identification workflows. Moreover, Verato’s solutions can ensure a unique view of a person across clinical data, laboratory data, and vaccine registries can be combined —and can also provide supplemental data to ensure we have a complete and comprehensive view of which populations have been vaccinated and which are still awaiting vaccination. 

So while I am getting a little tired of watching old Seinfeld episodes, I am encouraged by the light at the end of the tunnel and by Verato’s role in making it that much brighter.