Arden & GEM’s Data and Systems team has rapidly developed a national system to capture data on administered vaccinations to inform management of the 2020/21 flu immunisation programme and underpin a future COVID vaccination programme.
This winter’s flu vaccination programme has been deemed essential to protecting vulnerable people and supporting resilience of the health and care system, amid concerns about the impact of the co-circulation of flu and coronavirus.
With many flu vaccination providers operating disparate systems with variance in data quality, compliance and timeliness, NHS England and NHS Improvement engaged the CSU to develop and rapidly deploy an application that could collect vaccination data to inform programme management at both a national and regional level.
The National Immunisation and Vaccination System (NIVS) provides a point of delivery digital capture solution for the following groups:
- School aged children
- Healthcare workers
- Clinically at risk patients attending Trusts
- Pharmacies without existing software solutions.
The school age immunisation service is delivered by 65 providers, with 6 million children eligible, while vaccination of healthcare workers covers a potential 1.4 million individuals and is delivered by 251 providers. To reflect the needs of this wide range of providers, and the requirements of regional commissioning teams, approximately 400 service and clinical leads were engaged in the system development process. This took place over a 10 day period, with rapid system iterations completed in response to their input and feedback.
The solution is now live for the first two groups with four user training sessions being run each day and organisations supported by a dedicated helpdesk. Data can be submitted to the system through daily portal bulk uploads or direct user input. For healthcare workers, the system also integrates ESR data which enables employee ‘lookup’, making the data entry process simpler for users and reducing errors.
Validated and consolidated data is submitted to NHS Digital on a daily basis to inform a weekly ministerial review, as well as dashboards which demonstrate how different clinical areas and geographies are progressing with the programme. Data and dashboards also support the National Immunisation Management Service (NIMS) in its focus on increasing vaccination uptake in specific cohorts of the population.
The system is currently in the process of being rolled out to Hospital Trusts with background development taking place to enable NIVS to automatically update GP systems, Child Health systems and Summary Care Records with vaccination information (via NHS Digital).
The system’s use can also be expanded for future tracking and reporting of COVID vaccinations, as these become available.
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