HMS has taken a strong lead in the region to combat the virus since the start of the pandemic by immediately ramping up to provide care for those impacted and needing treatment, immediately implemented COVID-19 testing, and is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations. To date, HMS has performed over 8,782 of the over 34,000 tests in the two-county area. Testing is being performed by the NMDOH, GRMC, HMS, Silver Health Care, local municipalities, and area pharmacies, and more recently with mail in tests being made available by the NMDOH.
Gila Regional Medical Center and the NMDOH were the first to receive the Pfizer vaccinations and they both immediately started vaccinating DOH Phase 1a individuals (https://cv.nmhealth.org/covid-vaccine/). Approximately two- weeks later, HMS received its first shipment of Modera vaccinations and began providing those does to its Phase 1a employees. From there, HMS moved into vaccinating 1a and 1b citizens in both Grant and Hidalgo Counties, utilizing NMDOH provided lists.
HMS is utilizing the NMDOH vaccine registration process to determine which individuals will receive the vaccine. The provider vaccination process involves these steps:
(1) HMS confirms with NMDOH that a shipment is scheduled to be delivered;
(2) HMS registers the vaccination event;
(3) NMDOH issues HMS an event code;
(4) NMDOH auto-populates a list for HMS containing the individuals who are “next available” to receive the vaccine at the HMS event;
(5) NMDOH notifies those selected individuals;
(6) Selected individuals are asked by the NMDOH to select a link, enter the event code, and pick a time from the available date and time slots to receive their vaccination, then are issued a confirmation code;
(7) Individuals report on the date and time scheduled for their vaccination and individual provides confirmation code to HMS at time of appointment, and receives vaccination
HMS has found this process to be efficient. As per the date of this press release, HMS has administered 375 first does of the Modera COVID-19 vaccinations.
“There have been reports on ways to share event codes and obtain the vaccination prior to being contacted by the DOH, and subsequently bumping a higher risk individual. If that is possible and occurring, this would be very unfortunate, but out of the hands of HMS. HMS utilizes the NMDOH software system to auto-select individuals and will continue to follow the NMDOH rules under all circumstances and will not make any exceptions,” according to Dan Otero, HMS CEO.
HMS is currently accessing 100 doses a week, based on supply, and is rotating the vaccination clinic between both Hidalgo and Grant counties. “We are expecting to be able to request larger number of vaccinations in the coming weeks, and have every intention of increasing how often we offer the vaccination clinics based on the weekly supply,” stated Albert Diaz, HMS Director of Nursing. To register for your vaccine, go to cvvaccine.nmhealth.org. If you do not have internet access, you may call to register call 1-855-600-3453.