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When Speed Matters: How Blackthorn Events Helped AdventHealth With COVID Vaccinations...Fast

Kristen Hicks
January 28, 2021
When Speed Matters: How Blackthorn Events Helped AdventHealth With COVID Vaccinations...Fast

The Problem

When AdventHealth needed an event management and registration app to organize community events across their organization, it was simply easier to adopt what one of their hospitals was already using. But the app’s interface wasn’t user-friendly, came with basic event functionality, and since it wasn’t native to Salesforce (AdventHealth’s trusted patient CRM), their integrations didn’t work properly. That meant the event organizers and Salesforce administrators (“admins”) had to manually input data, costing them more time and increasing the risk of user-errors.

They were also unable to easily build the kind of customization they needed and the app wasn’t designed for their volume. As Kevin Howell, Director of CRM and Digital Health for AdventHealth Information Technology explains: “We typically tend to break vendors when we stand them up with our volume, which is quite a large system with a presence in 10 states and over 50 hospitals.” 

Another problem with the app living outside of Salesforce? “We had to use a lot of custom code, and so anytime there was a problem, I had to pull in a developer to troubleshoot complex issues,” he says. 

When it came time to organize COVID vaccinations for 80,000 of their employees and volunteers, they knew they needed something easier and more reliable. The operation was even more complex since the vaccines required two doses, meaning there were actually 160,000 appointments to create and track. 

The event app they thought would be a long-term solution was now a temporary one.  

Where Blackthorn Events Comes In

AdventHealth started searching for a new vendor, but how could they trust that they would find the right fit? Blackthorn Events came highly recommended from Salesforce partners, but something else was a big plus for Howell: “You guys being one of Salesforce.org’s partners of the year...that really speaks volumes.”

They put us to the test; everyone from the corporate to local levels had to feel confident their event “wish list” would be fulfilled. They’d heard that standing up an event app could take months—which was time they didn’t have. With us, that wasn’t a problem.


Let’s Get Started

We promised implementation in two weeks...and we delivered. “It was very, very smooth...a few clicks and we were off and running.” Howell said. Since their teams were already working in Salesforce, they could use a lot of their existing knowledge on Salesforce configurations and how to manage the product. Time was now on their side. AdventHealth’s feedback also included kudos for a responsive Customer Success team and support that was always available when needed.

The FDA approved the first vaccine on December 11. AdventHealth began scheduling appointments within 48 hours. 


What Does It Look Like?

For their employees and volunteers, the process is simple and intuitive. 

The AdventHealth staff and volunteers receive an email invitation to register for their vaccination. The email contains a unique link specific to that particular attendee, making sure the right people are getting the vaccine. One click and they’re taken to an event landing page with the vaccination date and time options so they can choose the one that’s most convenient for them.

Event Landing Page - Blackthorn Events and AdventHealth
(for demonstration purposes only)

Since their invitation contained a unique link, their information is pulled from their existing attendee record in Salesforce and pre-filled in the registration form.

Times and Registration - Blackthorn Events and AdventHealth

The attendee then receives a confirmation email with a unique QR code, which a staff member will scan using Blackthorn’s Mobile Check-In App when they arrive for their appointment.

QR Code - Blackthorn Events and AdventHealth

That flips the attendee’s status from “Registered” to “Attended” in real time so the admin can confirm whether the attendee actually showed up to their appointment.This helps with contact tracing since the record will have the timestamp for vaccination. And having reliable registration data ahead of time means the hospital can confidently arrange for the appropriate supplies, number of vaccines, and staff.

The process is fully automated after the attendee is scanned, enabling administrators to send things like follow-up surveys or in this case, second vaccination information, without manual effort.

On the admin side, organizers have a user-friendly interface where they can send their invitation-only emails and easily view accurate, reliable data.

Admin Interface - Blackthorn Events and AdventHealth
(user-friendly interface)

Attendee Record - Blackthorn Events and AdventHealth
(easy-to-view attendee record)

That Fuzzy Feeling

It went so well with their employees and volunteers that AdventHealth opened up the system in some markets for the public to schedule their vaccination appointments. The rewards are priceless. As Kevin Howell says, “I’ve been getting pictures from local sites where people are just so excited to get the vaccine. You know, every now and then in healthcare IT you get to work on a project that really makes a difference, and so this is one that resonated with us...we were able to see the faces of people that you were making a difference for so it’s been amazing.”


A Glimpse Into the Future

AdventHealth is now looking into how they can use Blackthorn Events as their primary event management and marketing tool for educational seminars, employee training, and community events for their 50+ hospitals, urgent care clinics, labs, imaging centers, and more. We’re proud to do our part in keeping the public engaged and informed about their health.

A Chat With Kevin Howell From AdventHealth

Need help with your vaccination appointments? Reach out today and get your questions answered by one of our experts.