A key tenet of CVS Health’s data modeling and analysis efforts has been improving the health experience to provide more convenient, equitable, personalized, and affordable care for consumers. Of the more than 78 million COVID-19 vaccinations CVS Health administered in the last few years, over 40% were to underrepresented communities.
“The ability to reach these vulnerable communities has been critical since the beginning,” said Mok. “Vaccines were the key for giving them a chance to protect themselves.”
Shivaani Prakash, Lead Director of Retail Health Data Science and co-lead of the company’s COVID-19 Data and Modeling Center, agrees. “I’ve spent my whole career in public health, where we’re always trying to design the best interventions for communities who need care the most urgently,” she said. “We’re in a position to make a real difference across communities.”
For example, one challenge that arose early on in the availability of COVID-19 vaccines was uncertainty around the quantity of vaccines CVS Health could procure at any given time, or how long it would take to receive them. Using multiple sources of data, the company organized a ranking of stores by state in terms of need, impact, and geographic coverage. As the modeling center team identified areas with higher demand or less accessibility, they could adjust rankings to keep the list updated and ensure that levers such as additional site selection, community partnerships, mobile clinics, and proactive outreach were all deployed accordingly. By using this robust selection algorithm, CVS Health succeeded in optimally and equitably delivering millions of vaccines across all its locations, with limited vaccine waste—and helped position the company to better address and overcome supply chain and distribution challenges in the future. Overall, this level of data-driven organization has furthered CVS Health’s mission of improving health outcomes for its patients and increasing access where it is most lacking.
“In the past few years there have been so many unknowns,” said Mok. “But the ways we’ve found for using data have made us stronger, because we can estimate what’s going on and how it’s going to have an impact on our business, as well as on the wellbeing of the individuals and communities we serve.”