Kroger Health, the healthcare division of Cincinnati, Ohio-based The Kroger Co., has introduced its new vaccine scheduling tool, allowing customers to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments online.
The new tool can manage more than 250,000 requests daily and will reflect the amount of vaccine doses confirmed within Kroger’s system while allowing visitors to check vaccine eligibility and create appointments as availability increases. Customers also will have the ability to book appointments for both their first and second dose at the same time.
The rollout of Kroger Health’s new vaccine scheduling platform reflects the company’s commitment to the health and safety of its associates, customers and communities and follows the company’s three-pronged pandemic health response: testing, vaccine administration and supportive care services.
Over the last year, Kroger Health has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts. As one of the selected retailer pharmacies for President Biden’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership, Kroger Health is dedicated to providing care to associates and customers as well as the communities the company serves. As of Feb. 16, Kroger Health has administered more than 380,000 COVID-19 vaccines in 25 states to essential health care workers, skilled-nursing facilities, elderly populations, educators and eligible associates.
Kroger Health is now receiving and administering vaccines at 1,300 of its 2,200 family of pharmacies. If all pharmacy locations begin to receive doses of the vaccine, Kroger Health could administer an average of nearly 500,000 vaccinations per week.
“Kroger Health’s priority is the safety of our customers, associates and communities,” said Colleen Lindholz, president. “Thanks to our incredible team of health professionals and technology experts, we’ve been able to streamline the vaccine rollout process across our family of pharmacies during these ever-changing times. As more vaccines become available nationwide, our pharmacies and clinics will be ready and able to administer thousands of doses to our communities every day. Our new online scheduling tool and improved call center experience will allow us to easily scale to meet demand once more vaccine doses are available to Kroger Health.”
In addition to its newly released scheduling tool, Kroger Health has also invested in the following initiatives to streamline and encourage vaccination:
- Vaccine Support Call Center: Concurrent with its scheduling tool rollout, Kroger Health’s COVID-19 vaccine support call center has partnered with IBM Watson to create an AI-powered seamless phone experience for patients. Watson will share answers to frequently asked questions and reduce the wait time for patients, making appointments by transferring them to a care representative as needed. Customers can contact 866-211-5320 to reach the dedicated support line and learn more about location and vaccine availability.
- Scheduling Platform Security: Alongside Kroger Health’s new scheduling tool, Kroger’s technology and digital team has implemented advanced security measures to deter bot activity within the platform, ensuring maximum appointment availability.
- Kroger Associate Vaccine Payment: Earlier this month, the Kroger Family of Companies announced it would provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive the full manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Everyone who is eligible should make it a priority to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointment,” said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger’s chief medical officer. “We know that the science behind the vaccines is sound, and we encourage everyone in our communities to use our online tools and call center to make an appointment to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.”
Last December, Kroger Health committed to hiring 1,000 healthcare personnel, including pharmacy technicians, to support operations and the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kroger Health has hired a sizable number of associates but needs remain for additional health care personnel. To view available opportunities, visit jobs.kroger.com.