When the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in 2020, each state and subsequent health system receiving the vaccine were given little direction on how to successfully administer them in a fair and efficient manner. Redfin Solutions partnered with the biggest health system in the state of Maine, MaineHealth, to deliver an online vaccine registration system.
MaineHealth created a Twilio phone system and headless Drupal backend to start the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as fast as possible. The phone IVR integration allows eligible Maine residents to call in and pre-register for their vaccines. The Drupal backend stores the information and categorizes the callers into groups based on their eligibility. This combination worked well in the early stages of the rollout because it quickly got those who were most at risk of getting COVID-19 into the MaineHealth system.
MaineHealth came to Redfin Solutions when they needed a custom, online vaccine registration system that could scale with daily policy changes from federal and state governments.
The vaccine rollout guidelines changed daily, so Redfin created a standalone React website, which would house the registration form and send submissions to the Drupal backend. We decided not to build out the full Drupal website because Drupal requires a built out menu with a dedicated landing page for each menu item. This can get tricky when making lots of changes, whereas React Router makes this all a breeze. We could build a frontend that was fully styled and functional in two weeks. React also allows us to leverage locally-scoped CSS Modules, which means we could re-style the form without worrying about repercussions throughout the rest of the website. So, we spun up the decoupled React website and created vaccine.mainehealth.org.
Fast, Agile Development
At first, vaccine.mainehealth.org consisted of a simple React form reflecting the Maine vaccine eligibility guidelines for octogenarians and healthcare workers. Two weeks into the launch, the CDC updated the vaccine guidelines and opened up eligibility to teachers, schools staff, and licensed childcare workers. With our Agile development workflow, Redfin was able to reprioritize the project and pivot the plan to accommodate MaineHealth’s new needs.
We used the Twilio phone service to contact anyone in the MaineHealth system who previously was not eligible or who was on the waitlist, to ask them to update their eligibility. And because we were agile, Redfin quickly restructured the React frontend and created another question. The form went from a simple yes or no, to including variables for a non-linear path. We used a simple multistage system to work the user through the website without unnecessary steps and get them the answers they need.
Since then, the rollout has progressed and we had the space to step back and create new goals based on the success of vaccine.mainehealth.org. As some users in the MaineHealth system received vaccines elsewhere, we saw a need to allow them to leave the MaineHealth waitlist when they no longer needed to be contacted. We also programmed the Drupal backend to catch any duplicate users, so we could be sure to remain as efficient as possible. The most recent version of the form allows users to join the waitlist and schedule the vaccination appointment right there. To save time and stick to the goals we provided only the necessary information, including Frequently Asked Questions, the most current vaccine guidelines, and details about the appointment.
The collaboration between MaineHealth and Redfin Solutions created a smooth line of communication through daily standup meetings. We divided the responsibilities to maximize our efforts and minimize risks.
In less than a month, we worked together to create a quick and secure way for users to check their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, put themselves on the waitlist, and schedule a vaccination appointment. Redfin created the React frontend to adjust to the changing guidelines and kept the Drupal backend separate to ensure the security and correct categorization of the users’ data. The new vaccine.mainehealth.org website publicly launched on March 3rd, 2021, and since then over 45,000 people have used the decoupled React frontend to register.
Visit vaccine.mainehealth.org to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist.