April 20, 2021
• The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. •
How did you first hear about MVS?
So Sarah Smith [Operations Project Manager] and Brian Wallace [Acting Captain and COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Coordinator] from the Seattle Fire Department got their flu shots from Seattle Visiting Nurse Association, which uses Signetic. It was in the winter—November, December time frame—and it was around the same time I was looking for vaccination software.
At that time, I was looking at Salesforce and Microsoft, and all this different software, and I just wanted something that was really, really clean and simple, and meant for vaccinations.
When you're dealing with lots of volunteers, and temporary staff, you want your technology to be as simple and as intuitive as possible. So we wanted something where there wasn't way more fields than what we needed to collect.
When they showed me SVNA's application, I was like, 'Oh, this is pretty nice, because it's just very clear,’ both on the patient side and on, what we learned to be, the administrative side as well.
Another thing that helped is the fact that Signetic uses Microsoft Power Apps. There are people within the City that know generally how to use that platform. I know my colleagues in IT were happy to see it.
You were under a time crunch to find a vendor for this. How did that influence things?
One of the really important things to lay out for context was, one: We're procuring emergency software, so the timeline for this had to be relatively quick. We needed something that was going to be available that day. We would prove it, but it needed to be ready out of the box. There was no time for PowerPoint slides and wishful thinking.
And two: It needed to have the potential to help us reach people that would be left behind. It was a very requirements-driven choice. Ultimately you guys could do email and text confirmations; I learned the power of text messaging through the testing program, and I just couldn't live without it. It’s so effective.
Now another big one was WA-ISS integration. It's a big pain in the butt to have to do that manually. The fact that we can fulfill an appointment and know that later it automatically goes up into WA-ISS—that’s huge.
And then insurance. You guys were the only ones that were willing to set it all up, not just collect the data for insurance, but actually process the insurance claims. And then that was honestly one of the things that kept tipping me back into Signetic.
Are there some major victories that come to mind when we think back over the engagement so far?
Everything's working really well. One is the user feedback that we're getting from folks. Seeing how we're doing from the actual perspective of our users is the best way, I think. And so what we're seeing is that they are rating us at something like 4.75 out of five. And we specifically ask about the registration process as well. And for the most part, people hate on software a lot, so the fact that we're getting upwards of 4.75 on software is pretty good.
And then another thing is definitely the commitment to equity. So that's come in a couple forms. One is translating our registration website. And then the other is the one-time links that allow us to target specific demographics.
That’s something we’re currently testing. I think that will be another big win as well, because it's going to allow us to start moving through our 250,00-person waitlist. I think this is going to give us an opportunity to start culling the list and moving through it in a different way. So I'm very excited about that. And it allows us also to be much more targeted.
So for example, if you are on the notification list, the email is intended for you. So the reason why the single-use code is so important is it allows the person who is on the notification list to actually make their appointment, even if it takes them a couple days to make it.
I think this is just going to help make the process feel a little bit more organized and orderly and fair. And it also will give us an opportunity to be a little more targeted with our ZIP codes. And we're seeing a pretty good relationship between the two, but this will be next level, I think.
What else is helping on the equity front?
Another big one on the equity side is Ted [Clark, VP - Data and Business Analytics] has been helping us make these dashboards that have been awesome—specifically the demographic dashboard.
And so that's where we can see how we're doing. There's one connector that will be really helpful, if it’s possible, to get into the dashboard, which is the eligibility question. So for example, if we're really focused on 65-and-up, or eligibility related to critical workers. If it's possible to get it into our demographic dashboard, we'll actually be able to draw a comparison and say, ‘Yeah, we did it. These are the people we're trying to get to the sites.’
When it comes to equitable distribution, what were the offerings from competitors?
I don't think they were there. Also, a lot of them require logins, which I think creates a barrier from the get-go. We don't have any need to save people's profiles. That's totally unnecessary, and it creates a barrier.
At some point, one-time codes were being discussed, and I'm pretty sure Salesforce and Microsoft probably could do that. But nobody had it out-of-the-box, including Signetic. But at least Signetic was more of a medium-sized development firm. So I knew the possibility of getting that was higher. And also Chandika [Bhandari, CEO] was excited about it. That gave me confidence that it could happen.
That about covers my questions. Is there anything you'd like to mention that we didn’t cover?
Yes, the partnership with Lukas [Svec, Chief Product Officer] has been awesome. He has just been the most amazing partner. He was so clear and articulate. I knew his expertise was going to really support the project.
This is a stressful thing, because you're dealing with people's health care. And just being able to have someone that you can call who's going to empathize and help you out and quickly work out a solution. I mean, that's invaluable.
He’ll be glad to hear it. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you for doing all the things really well. I really appreciate you guys.
April 2, 2021
How do you work toward vaccination equity when the normal forces of supply and demand are haywire?
March 10, 2019
“We think we can do up to 20,000 [vaccinations at Lumen Field] a day,” said Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan at an outdoor Mar. 1 press conference. “But that will take us scaling up both personnel and vaccines.”