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Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and each state’s department of health, Sanford Health is committed to providing equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
• Sanford is proud to use a powerful analytic tool to guide prioritization and outreach efforts to members of the communities we serve.
• In March 2020, Sanford Research established a COVID registry to document patient outcome information from people who tested positive for COVID-19 to better understand the course of illness, risk factors and recovery. There are now more than 84,000 patients in the registry (one of the largest in the country), providing us with invaluable data to analyze risk factors and outcomes for these patients.
• We have identified anyone who has received care at Sanford Health in the past three years and have categorized them based on age and medical history. For those that are not patients of our health system or are unsure and would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine, they are able to complete an online form or call our 1-800 number to be added to our waitlist, providing us with an aggregate list of patients we are responsible for.
• A risk factor algorithm is applied to both the COVID-19 registry data and Sanford patient data to identify each patient’s level of risk within each population group. Within the framework of state direction on populations to be vaccinated, the analytic tool provides additional risk-stratification
of people with advanced age and medical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
• Items that can contribute to a higher-risk score include age and chronic conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised states, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, and diabetes. The tool prompts inclusion of high-risk patients regardless of gender, ethnicity, ambulatory status, disability, or sexual orientation.
• Based on this approach, we are confident we have prioritized patients fairly and equitably based on medical history and risk, and are ready to offer vaccinations quickly and efficiently when they are available for each group.
Sanford Health actively uses this risk-stratification list to notify patients in succession when vaccine supply is available. People are invited to set up
an appointment via a combination of inclusive approaches: phone call, text message, letter, and/or an electronic health record correspondence.

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