A multidisciplinary team at a tertiary care Veterans Health Administration medical center created a standardized process to identify medically stable inpatients, to notify inpatient staff of available COVID-19 vaccine doses, and to coordinate inpatient vaccine administration. The team’s goals were to mitigate vaccine waste while safely vaccinating as many patients as possible. Using a unique set of exclusion criteria and clinical judgment, a quality improvement team reviewed patients admitted to medicine teams to determine medical stability. Eligible, interested patients were listed in a secure shared file, and outpatient vaccine clinic staff communicated with inpatient nurse leaders regarding the availability of unadministered doses. Doses were transported to the hospital from the clinic and administered by inpatient nurses. Between January 8 and April 26, 2021, 105 patients were vaccinated with either the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during admission. Sixty-nine percent of the patients received a first dose, 27% received a second dose, and 4% received both doses. Forty-two percent of the patients vaccinated while inpatient identified as Black or African American compared with 28% of the vaccinated outpatients. No vaccine-related safety events were reported. This process demonstrates a viable approach to mitigating waste of COVID-19 vaccines and safely, efficiently, and equitably vaccinating an inpatient population.
- waste mitigation