Sunday, April 18, 2021
St. Luke’s Offers New Registry to Do Away with the Frustration of Shopping for a Vaccine
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Eighty-five-year-old Jerry Kramer a former Green Bay Packers lineman and a longtime Boise resident, received his first COVID-19 vaccine Saturday. COURTESY: St. Luke’s Health Systems
   
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

St. Luke’s has opened a new vaccine registry and outreach process to make it easier for people to obtain COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

St. Luke’s will reach out to patients who are registered when vaccine and appointments are available so that patients do not have to repeatedly check back for appointments.

“We are hearing your concerns and trying to lower the hurdles to get into the process,” said Scott Milner, senior director of Pharmacy at St. Luke’s.

Those who wish to sign up are asked to go to the patient online electronic health record portal myChart and fill out a questionnaire. Those who are not yet eligible for a vaccine are asked to wait a few week before filling out questionnaire to ensure access for the most high-risk eligible patients.

Those who sign up before they are eligible for a vaccine won’t be put in the active registry until they do qualify.

Those who do not have a myChart account or internet access or who need interpretation services can call St. Luke’s at 208-381-9500 to be added to the registry. They will be contacted by their preferred method when it’s time to schedule an appointment.

Those who have never used St. Luke’s services can call 208-381-9000 to set up a myChart account.

When vaccine doses come in, those who are registered will be notified by myChart or by telephone or email, if that’s their preferred method. Participants will have a week to schedule an appointment and receive a vaccination. If they are unable to schedule during that time, their name will go back to the registry for a future appointment.

St. Luke’s registry is separate from the new online registry the state unveiled a few days ago. Hospital officials prefer that those choosing to be vaccinated by St. Luke’s stick to one list to avoid double-booking. Those who do sign on to more than one registry are asked to schedule only one appointment when they do get that opportunity.

New appointments are being opened first to those 75 and older. They will then be made available to those between 65 and 75 and health care workers, teachers and others who have been eligible for weeks.

The Central District Health region will offer appointments to homeless shelter residents, food and agriculture residents, Idaho National Guard, manufacturing workers, public transit workers, flight crews, interpreters and postal employees beginning March 8.

The South Central Public Health District, which oversees Blaine County, will make appointments available to those people beginning March 15, as it still has thousands of currently eligible people in the 65-and-older group and other groups waiting for vaccines.

Milner said St. Luke’s started having trouble filling blocks of appointments to capacity just before the state opened vaccination eligibility up to the 65-and-older crowd.

It’s not that there’s zero demand, he said. It’s that people can’t find an appointment time that meets their schedule or they wait up feeling sick or, all of a sudden, find themselves unable to get away from work to get that vaccine. Some people have been turned away because they got another vaccine within 14 days of their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Milner related how St. Luke’s held a clinic to dispense 2,000 doses in Boise on Saturday. Workers started calling those on a waitlist at 2:30 as soon as they began identifying how many vaccinations would go unused. But, still, they had to extend the clinic to ensure no shots were wasted.

“We were scheduled to leave at 5. I did not leave until 8 o’clock,” he said. “I just hope people look at any of the vaccines and understand that it is in our interest to decrease hospitalizations.”

 

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