Travis County Fire uses FileMaker to streamline vaccinations

3 min readMar 8, 2021


FileMaker app helps eliminate human transcription errors and data sharing bottlenecks while vaccinating 3000 residents per day in what ended up being the largest volunteer run vaccination effort in Texas.

Chief Ken Bailey of Travis County Fire Rescue in Texas is a big Claris fan. He uses FileMaker for nearly everything that requires data management.

While Ken finds the platform approachable enough to build apps on his own, he also knows it can be very powerful. Chief Bailey contacted Kristen Hudgens, out of the iSolutions Austin, TX office to create an Active 911 API integration into a FileMaker app.

Vaccination App running on an iPad using Claris FileMaker Go

So when a group called Community Care” reached out to Travis County Fire Rescue to assist with county vaccinations, Chief Bailey knew an app could help a notoriously paper-based process.

Ken reached out to Kristen and they collaborated on a solution with the initial goal to vaccinate 3000 constituents per day in the first weekend and then report the valuable vaccination data to the State.

Long lines at vaccination site

The role of the FileMaker app is to gather patient and vaccine information, to upload to DSHS (Texas Dept of State Health Services) and DSHS then moves this data into IMMTRAC (Texas Immunization Registry) using HL7 format to ultimately be tracked at the federal level.

The alternate approach in other areas is paper based or requires manual entry into IMMTRAC system, however FileMaker can securely (via HL7) upload 3000 at a time rather than one at a time. Tracking this information in an app also eliminates potential human error and any bottlenecks in the process.

Errors and bottlenecks could be of grave concern since vaccines expire within 6 hours and it will take three lots of vaccines in just a 6 hour period to get to 3000 vaccinations. FileMaker helps make that possible.

Administrators used iPads running FileMaker Go that import appointment data from the registration system and used that data to qualify each patient was in the correct location. The app then logs the vaccine information issued, the administration method, the administration site (i.e: left arm) and then the second round vaccination dates.

Scribes using FileMaker Go

Kristen worked onsite on the first weekend, which was the largest volunteer run immunization effort in the state. Public health officials were onsite to witness 3000 of Community Care’s patients successfully vaccinated PER DAY thanks to the work of 66 scribes and 66 volunteer vaccinators. Kristen assisted by shadowing scribes as they record every one of the vaccinations.

This just proves that a platform is so much more than just a single tool. It is an entire suite of problem solving skills that allow organizations like Travis County Fire Rescue to respond with agility to whatever is thrown at them, be it creating their own app for a small problem like Board of Commission Agendas or something as important as fighting a worldwide pandemic. Kudos to Chief Bailey for being a problem solver and for Kristen at iSolutions for being a partner in this effort.

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