Flu 2023 Playbook
Nick Hui avatar
Written by Nick Hui
Updated over a week ago


Welcome to the Flu 2023 Playbook! This playbook will provide you with the knowledge and resources to make this your best flu season ever. We've combined the learnings from hundreds of pharmacies to provide you with the most efficient workflows and take advantage of the latest MedMe features.

This playbook is divided into three parts, designed to help you get ready, vaccinate, and build on your momentum to power clinical services year-round:

When are flu shots available? Here are the dates:

Prince Edward Island: October 1, 2023

British Columbia: October 10, 2023

Saskatchewan: October 10, 2023

Northwest Territories: October 10, 2023

New Brunswick: October 16, 2023

Newfoundland and Labrador: October 16, 2023

Nova Scotia: October 23, 2023

Part 1: Preparing for Flu Season

🧠 Consider Your Schedule and Staffing

The first step to a successful flu season is to reflect on the upcoming calendar and the resources available:

  • When will your pharmacy receive vaccines?

    • Build up your flu vaccine waitlist at least two weeks prior.

    • Consider how many vaccines you will have in stock.

    • Plan ahead for inventory challenges – MedMe waitlists have features to support you in inviting a precise number of patients to book and switching patients from high dose to regular dose.

  • Do you have new pharmacy staff?

πŸ“‹ Use The Flu Waitlist

Did you know that pharmacies that use MedMe's flu waitlist have 81% more flu appointments on average?

Using the flu waitlist is easy. First capture patient interest, then invite patients to book on specific dates in order to fill up the schedule.

πŸ’‘ Tip: The top 30% of busiest pharmacies on MedMe have 63% of appointments booked by patients – letting patients join the waitlist and inviting them to book increases the number of appointments and saves you time when they fill out the documentation ahead of time.

πŸ—“ Set Up Your Calendar

Once you have an idea of your capacity for staffing, anticipated vaccine supply, and desired schedule, you can use MedMe's flexible calendar settings to control bookings.

Calendar Settings

You can set the overall hours of operation using your calendar, including blocking dates or times when you won't be available. Don't forget to block off holidays and schedule time for breaks during your operations!

Many pharmacies use a single calendar to manage all their appointments, but MedMe now allows you to create multiple calendars to manage more complex set-ups (like two pharmacists concurrently giving flu shots in two different rooms).

If you need even more flexibility, check out event-type scheduling.

Appointment Type Settings

For a specific appointment type, like β€œHigh Dose Flu Vaccines,” you can further control the availability, such as:

  • The duration of the appointment

  • If you are accepting registrations for the waitlist or direct bookings instead

  • The start and end date for booking availability

  • Narrowing the hours further than the overall calendar

❗️Remember to turn on public intake for your flu appointment types to make them visible to patients.

Matching Your Availability With Vaccine Supply

Here are a couple of ways to maximize your schedule and minimize wastage:

  • Want to invite a specific number of patients (including those from multi-patient appointments)?

  • Additional capacity or clinic days?

    • If you have additional staff on certain days to provide more capacity, you can create a new calendar to "add" their capacity on top of your regular schedule.

πŸ“ˆ Generate Patient Demand for Flu Vaccines

The top two ways to boost patient demand are:

  • Share Your Appointment Scheduling Link Widely

    Add yourpharmacy.medmeapp.com/schedule to anywhere patients can interact with your pharmacy: Website, social media profiles, and Google search results.

πŸ’‘ Tip: You can also get a specific link for each appointment type.

Bonus Tip: You can showcase your URL with physical props too - think posters, flyers, social media, or prescription bag stuffers!

*Appointment types created after July 2023 may not contain Patient Interest Flagging capabilities yet.

Part 2: During Flu Season

πŸ“„ Daily Operation and Documentation

Your daily workflow will be inviting patients from the waitlist for availability on upcoming days as the flu season progresses. Once you have exhausted your waitlist, you may also want to open up the appointments for direct booking.

Want to save at least five minutes per appointment? These are our top five tips to help your vaccination programs run efficiently:

πŸ’‘ Tip: When creating a profile for a patient, don't skip entering the patient's email/cell number! This will allow you to contact them for future services, ask them to leave a Google Review or send links to future waitlists/booking links.

  • Walk-In and Phone Bookings

    MedMe makes it easy to provide flu shots on a walk-in basis. We also keep in mind that some less tech-savvy patients need assistance with booking their appointments and filling out their intake forms. Documenting the walk-in appointment is as easy as using our Conduct Now feature.

πŸ’‘ Tip: Patients can fill in the intake form even if you schedule the appointment for them. You can send the form when you schedule the appointment, have them scan a QR code, or complete the form on a tablet in your pharmacy.

  • Managing Patient No-Shows

    If a patient doesn't show up to their appointment, you can manage no-shows by freeing the time slot for other patients while sending a rescheduling link to the no-show patient simultaneously.

  • In-store Signage and QR Codes

    Consider putting up posters and signs in your pharmacy to advertise your flu shot service. For walk-in patients, include a QR code that links to the walk-in registration so they can fill in the form on the spot. For more marketing support, check out our free social media graphics for flu campaigns.

πŸ’‰ Patient Interest Flagging: Co-Administration of Flu and COVID

In addition to NACI recommendations on co-administration, patients are now viewing pharmacies as their preferred destination to receive injections. When patients book their flu shot, they can also indicate if they want to receive their next dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. See Patient Interest Flagging for details.

With this new capability, we hope to reduce the number of calls to your pharmacy while also flagging potential care opportunities. In the future, we hope to enhance this feature with Multi-Service Booking (coming soon!) so you can bundle many services together.

πŸ“¦ Manage Vaccine Supply Disruption

Circumstances can change from day to day, or the supply of different vaccine types might run low. Here are two ways to handle disruptions:

πŸ’¬ Patient Communications

Communicate clearly with patients by keeping all of your messaging up-to-date:

  • Confirmations, Reminders, and Thank You Notes

    You can customize your emails and SMS messages to ensure patients have all the necessary details. You can even add a custom note when sending out the booking link from the waitlist!

πŸ’‘ Tip: Keep your SMS message under 150 characters so it fits within a single message. You can paste your message into an online calculator to check.

  • Mass Custom Messaging

    You can send a custom email message to patients with upcoming appointments or on the waitlist to communicate important updates.

πŸ’‘ Tip: In the thank you note that gets sent out after appointments, add a link to your Google profile and ask for positive reviews!

πŸ’° Reimbursement/Billing for Services

Here are some tips on how to make the workflow for uploading records to your pharmacy management software (PMS) as efficient as possible:

  • Uploading Patient Records to Your PMS

    For new patients to your pharmacy, you'll need to create a new profile for them in your PMS. Here's our guide to integrating Kroll with MedMe.

  • Scanning Consent Forms Into the PMS

    Now that you've completed your appointments and signed off on all the paperwork, it's time to scan all those forms into your PMS. Instead of scanning the forms into each patient's profile individually, check out this recommended workflow for bulk uploads and save time in your admin workflow.

🏫 Host External Flu Clinics

Using MedMe's External Flu Clinic feature allows pharmacists to host flu clinics outside of their pharmacies and streamline appointment booking and management. Use this feature to host clinics in Corporate or Workplace Flu Clinics in Retirement Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Community Centers, Schools and Educational Institutions, Community Events, or Hospital Flu Clinics.

Streamline External Flu Clinic bookings, set up unique links, locations, unique availability, and customize SMS/Email communication.

Part 3: Future Opportunities

πŸ’Š Patient Prescription Transfer

Patients who register for flu shots through the pharmacy present an opportunity to provide exceptional care and convert a one-time visit into a long-term customer. When patients schedule their flu vaccinations, we ask if they're interested in transferring their prescriptions to your pharmacy and collect their previous pharmacy's information.

🦠 Vaccine Flagging and Immunizations

Adult immunizations are crucial to a patient's holistic care, and patients increasingly seek out pharmacies for these services. To help identify these patients, MedMe has added screening for Shingrix and Gardasil-9 eligible patients during flu vaccine intake.

This option will be available to turn on from the flu vaccine settings. Patients who are interested in speaking to the pharmacist will be flagged, providing an opportunity to co-administer the injection when they come in or follow up later as part of a larger vaccine campaign.

Early data from our pilot program suggests that more than 15% of patients would be willing to talk to a pharmacist about receiving an adult immunization through the pharmacy, which goes to show the size of this opportunity! Learn more here.

🌟 Custom Appointment Types for Consultations

Many pharmacies offer additional types of consultations to support their patients' holistic care, such as consultations for smoking cessation, compression garment fittings, virtual care, and more.

Inside MedMe, you have three "custom" appointment types that you can rename according to your offerings. By turning on public intake for these appointment types during flu season, you will be advertising your full range of services to the largest number of patients. Learn more here.

You can also schedule and conduct virtual appointments on MedMe! Learn more here.

Have questions or looking to add new modules to the MedMe platform? Email care@medmehealth.com, or message via live chat!

Have an idea or feature request? Please share on the feature requests board.

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