LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2021) — As the University of Kentucky stepped up to meet the challenge of distributing COVID-19 vaccines to the Lexington community, it needed a more sophisticated tool for vaccine sign-ups. Information Technology Services (ITS) worked with UK HealthCare to develop a process that would provide the community with an easy way to request a vaccine appointment and then schedule the date and time for their vaccination once the vaccine was available for them.
Built on UK HealthCare’s established vaccine distribution process for flu shots, the ITS Enterprise Applications division worked to create the vaccine scheduler that would create a unique invitation for a person who requested to receive the vaccine via ukvaccine.org. The unique invitations were crucial for vaccine distribution operations, preventing people from sharing vaccine sign-ups with others.
Another crucial part of vaccine distribution was identifying those groups that were eligible for the vaccine and encouraging them to sign up. The Institutional Research, Analytics, and Decision Support (IRADS) division of ITS connected data from UK HealthCare’s vaccine request system and data from Health Cloud to validate which students, faculty and staff had already gotten the vaccine and who needed to be communicated to about signing up to get the vaccine. By utilizing functionalities in Salesforce, all identified groups at UK received email communications detailing the vaccine request and scheduling process.
UK also provided several layers of support for community mobile clinics which distributed vaccines to the Lexington community. Not only did the ITS Networking & Infrastructure teams make sure there was reliable network at every mobile clinic location, but the Information Services teams also stepped up to distribute devices for check-in operations at every site. The Enterprise CRM & Salesforce team would then queue text messages to go to members of the community informing them about the mobile vaccine clinic. Additionally, ITS also set up a vaccine hotline for those who might have questions or need technical assistance with requesting or scheduling a vaccine.
Vaccine distribution has been one of the most important responses to COVID-19 and essential in keeping our community safe and healthy. Through the efforts of so many at UK, we are one step closer to life without COVID-19.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.