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California Makes ‘MyTurn’ COVID Scheduling System Mandatory To Reduce Data Lags

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County health officials have been slowly implementing a new state system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations into their workflows over the last several weeks. Now, several sources are reporting the state is mandating the transition.

MyTurn is the State’s online platform to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

On Wednesday, the Kings County Department of Public Health said in a news release they have, “started the mandated transition to MyTurn.”

In addition to being able to register for an appointment through the website, https://myturn.ca.gov/, residents can call 1-833-422-4255. The state says MyTurn operators speak English and Spanish, with an ability to add a third-party operator in 254 languages.

“We want to make sure we can still go in and pull the data that we need to be able to tell our story and be real transparent about what’s happening.”Joe Prado, Fresno County community health manager

The California Hospital Association sent a message to their member hospitals about the state’s vaccination program.

“Providers will be required to either administer vaccines via the My Turn scheduling system or an electronic health record (EHR) that interfaces with the state’s system. The state anticipates this will reduce data lags and give it real-time information on vaccination progress at the local and statewide levels,” part of the CHA message states.

According to CHA’s website they represent at least 10 hospitals in the greater Fresno area including Community Regional Medical Center.

Kings County

The only appointments available in the MyTurn system this week are for vaccinations at the KCDPH clinic in Hanford.

KCDPH says they will schedule small clinics with this new system in order to work through any issues identified with the platform.

The MyTurn platform also includes a “register for updates” feature, notifying residents when they are eligible for the vaccine and when additional appointments become available.

KCDPH says they’ll continue to contact individuals from the existing waitlist to schedule appointments at various locations throughout the county. With the rollout of MyTurn, there will be no new additions to the KCDPH waitlist as the system does not allow for this function.

Fresno County

Fresno County Community Health Manager Joe Prado told reporters last week the local public health department is planning a ‘soft launch’ of the system over several days.

Prado says he’s trying to answer the following questions:

  • How successful is the registration process?
  • How much data can Fresno County official see and review?
  • How much can Fresno County manage the data it receives?
  • How does the second shot appointment scheduling work when a person goes to their first appointment?

“All those details we’re learning,” says Prado. “We want to make sure we can still go in and pull the data that we need to be able to tell our story and be real transparent about what’s happening with with the data and what’s happening with our our vaccinations as well.”

One-Stop Clearinghouse

CalMatters reports that MyTurn serves as a clearinghouse for residents, a one-stop place to get information that until now has been scattered over 58 counties and three cities.

State officials largely have left the on-the-ground logistics of vaccine distribution to local health departments that have partnered with local health providers.

As a result, Californians had to navigate numerous online registration or notification systems managed by county and city governments, hospitals and even supermarket pharmacies. Some have reported spending hours on screens and on the phone, searching for appointments. Some online platforms have buckled under the strain, going dark for hours at a time.