This past weekend, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and All4Oregon successfully piloted a new process for scheduling a first COVID-19 appointment at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC). The new process informs seniors from counties in the Portland area that they are eligible for an appointment and offers them a personalized way to schedule appointments. State health officials and All4Oregon partners urged seniors to check their email inboxes for appointment information and registration messages.
To speed scheduling for older adults and reduce uncertainty for registrants, OHA has committed to allocate a minimum of 15,000 first vaccine doses per week for the next three weeks to the All4Oregon partners operating the OCC vaccination clinic. This commitment would enable All4Oregon partners to exclusively schedule older adults through the remainder of the month.
The new process is being immediately rolled out this week after a successful weekend pilot in which more than 1,800 people were able to secure vaccination appointments.
The new appointment scheduling process applies to eligible older adults who live in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah or Washington counties who registered for a vaccine through the Get Vaccinated Oregon (GVO) tool. Seniors in other counties around the state also can use the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool to register for notifications and find information about vaccination events in their area, but locations and steps will differ in their counties.
For Portland metro area seniors, OHA is pulling names from the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool. OHA will send those individuals an advance email indicating they will be receiving an email from All4Oregon inviting them to make an appointment at OCC.
That message from OHA will be followed by an email from All4Oregon that contains a unique individualized link that connects to the All4Oregon scheduling site with open dates and times for vaccines available the next week. This link will expire if not used within 5 days.
Last week, schedulers made appointments for 1,950 people via phone call. To improve upon this manual and time intensive process, this new approach will now allow for much faster appointing and at higher volumes, which will be needed as vaccine supply expands.
All4Oregon will contact individuals either by phone or email. The COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center is expected to fill all of its available vaccine appointments this week using one of these two methods. OHA’s commitment of a minimum of 15,000 doses per week through the end of the month is being made to enable OCC to offer older adults the opportunity to schedule weeks in advance, so more people will know they have an appointment and when they’re scheduled to get vaccinated, reducing potential worry and uncertainty. Once an appointment is made, individuals can cancel or change their appointment by calling 2-1-1 and selecting the option for the All4Oregon Call Center.
People who have provided Get Vaccinated Oregon with their email should check all email inbox folders, including spam, promotion and trash, in the event the invitation is inadvertently directed there.
The new technology was developed by Epic, the electronic medical record provider for the four health systems operating All4Oregon. Legacy Health, which offered to run the appointment system, reached out to Epic after experiencing network issues when an estimated 400,000 people tried to get one of the small numbers of open appointments over the past two weeks. As more vaccine becomes available, the system will be able to scale up to meet the increased demand.