Multi-State Partnership for Prevention

Scaling and maintaining a vaccine management app to meet unprecedented pandemic activity.

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Improve performance and scaling for vaccine management web app

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Rapid and sustainable scaling of platform; team up-skilling.

About MSPP

Responding to surging vaccine demand

Multi-State Partnership for Prevention (MSPP) is a public health technology company on a mission to increase immunization rates through tech innovation. 

Founder and CEO Tiffany Tate leads MSPP’s proudly diverse team, drawing on her deep understanding of public health gained from two decades as a leader in the space. MSPP’s core product offering is PrepMod, a web app for vaccination management. With PrepMod, clinics can operate online vaccination bookings, coordinate waiting lists, manage clinic inventory and more. Maryland was the first US state to adopt PrepMod for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in September 2020, and state after state followed suit.

Following a personal recommendation and an interview with our team, Tiffany brought thoughtbot onboard to help scale the PrepMod app to meet the surging demand brought on by the pandemic.

Screenshots from MSPP

Quote from MSPP CEO

thoughtbot saved our company because of their development expertise but also because they believed in our mission. 100% we would not be in business without thoughtbot.

Tiffany Tate

The Challenge

Unexpected rapid adoption, MSPP faced a critical scaling need

The COVID-19 pandemic caused soaring demand for MSPP’s PrepMod vaccine management solution as state governments scrambled to roll out vaccines as quickly as possible. Faced with unexpectedly rapid adoption, Tiffany’s team was challenged to scale their solution to meet demand. On top of this, the sudden surge in uptake was causing urgent performance issues. Struggling to keep up with demand, the situation felt untenable and Tiffany began considering what she believed to be her only two options: bring in a technical partner, or consider transferring her customers to a larger company.

From day one, thoughtbot dug in as team members, not consultants, and were unafraid to take the heat with MSPP, whilst celebrating the wins together.

MSPP Visuals

The Solution

Driving both performance improvements & a larger AWS migration

With the future of PrepMod’s capabilities at stake, the thoughtbot team hit the ground running. Drawing on recommendations from a consulting firm that had begun instituting performance enhancements, they conducted their own assessments and interviews to lay the foundations for improvement. 

Given the importance of the work, both our COO, Chad Pytel and CTO, Joe Ferris led the effort and 5 -7 developers from our Boost team, embedded directly and began weekly iterations to scale and improve the PrepMod app.  One of the most substantial efforts was led by the thoughtbot Mission Control team, who was responsible for a complete, complex, and comprehensive migration from Heroku to AWS. The migration was planned in a way that introduced no down time so that millions of people could continue to receive their critical COVID-19 vaccinations. 

As the pandemic evolved, so too did the needs of MSPP’s customers. At the start of the vaccine rollout, the focus was on scaling the system to cope with the demand for appointments and the need to prioritize supply by demographic. As vaccine supply increased to match demand, the focus shifted to user experience with the aim of reducing friction for those experiencing vaccine hesitancy. 

At the same time as scaling, developing, and maintaining the PrepMod app, the thoughtbot team were adding value by respectfully mentoring and upskilling the MSPP team. And when thoughtbot did make mistakes, they led by example with accountability and an explanation, respecting the trust placed in them by Tiffany and her team.

The Outcome

Saving lives and becoming trusted colleagues

With thoughtbot as a technical partner, MSPP was able to scale its vaccine management solution to serve more than 27 states during the COVID-19 pandemic including California, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The number of vaccination records grew from 50K to 20M. thoughtbot helped MSPP’s development team to grow from to 30, establishing an engineering culture and robust development lifecycle. The MSPP team refined how they expressed requirements, translated these to tickets, implemented the work, and tested the code. They developed a more formal approach at all stages of the development process which they are taking forward into the future.

thoughtbot became colleagues, not just consultants, bringing positivity to what was a stressful situation and enhancing MSPP’s credibility with their customers that continues to help them today.

MSPP Admin

quote from MSPP CEO

We needed a technical partner who wasn’t afraid to dig in, who didn’t shy away from a challenge and who could make a plan as things rapidly changed: thoughtbot was that partner.

Tiffany Tate

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