Hockey hub model makes a comeback3 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
In summer 2021, when the general population started to receive first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force brought an innovative vaccination clinic model to Waterloo Region.
Known as “hockey hub”, this clinic model doesn’t have much to do with the game of hockey.
It was named for the venues where the model was thought it would be best suited: hockey arenas.
Instead of an arena, the Region of Waterloo worked with Bingemans to establish the clinic in their conference centre, a location that was identified to be able to accommodate large numbers of clients and keep them flowing safely through the space.
With the rapid acceleration of booster doses in December, the Region of Waterloo needed to accommodate thousands of eligible individuals in a very short period of time. In a race against the highly contagious Omicron variant, getting as many third doses into arms as quickly as possible became top priority.
It was game-on for the hockey hub model once again.
“The experience is the same as any other clinic: checking in, screening, right up until you come into the main room where immunizations take place,” said David Aoki, Director, Infectious Diseases/Chief Nursing Officer for Region of Waterloo Public Health. “With the hockey hub model, clients are seated in one spot and the immunizers and admin staff move up and down rows of patients, rather than having the client move.”
This makes for a very efficient use of resources at the vaccination clinic.
“The great thing about this model is the immunizer just immunizes. They don’t do any of the clerical work, so it makes it really fast,” said Adele Parkinson, Acting Director, Healthy Living and Foundational Standards division.
Immunizers can be laser-focused on getting shots into arms. The goal is about one minute per client. With a set-up of six rows, 15 patient seats per row, and roughly eight immunizers on a shift, the hockey hub at Bingemans is able to administer about 2,000 third doses per day.
“The right people are doing the right job. The immunizers are just immunizing. The admin people are doing the admin. It’s the right use of resources,” said Parkinson. “There’s staff that push carts around that have more of the vaccine already drawn-up. The immunizers can keep vaccinating clients; the vaccines and supplies are brought to them.”
The hockey hub model is drastically speeding up third dose vaccinations in Waterloo Region, and the team is working on delivering it at another clinic location in the region.
The success of the clinic is also a testament to the hard work of the individuals who fill the various roles that keep things running smoothly. This includes University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy students and staff pre-loading syringes; community doctors and nurses immunizing; and Region of Waterloo Public Health staff overseeing operations — just to name a few.
Thousands of additional appointments will be available at regional vaccination clinics throughout January and February. If you haven’t already, book an appointment to get your vaccine as soon as you can. Visit regionofwaterloo.ca/GetVaccinated.