New automation software launches for NHS vaccine programme
Inform Health, a technology partner to sexual health, HIV and sexual assault referral centres (SARC) in the UK has created software to help automate the management of the Covid-19 vaccination programmes for healthcare staff.
The software, which recently went live at a London teaching hospital, aims to deliver substantial reductions in administrative resource for National Health Service (NHS) hospital trusts, while facilitating quick and convenient participation in the biggest immunisation programme in history for appropriate staff.
The software has been designed to function with minimal manual administration. Once staff details have been uploaded and divided into priority cohorts, a single manual email is required to request that recipients update their information. All other steps in the process are triggered by a combination of patient self-managed actions, confirmation by the healthcare provider that the patient is suitable for a the second dose of the vaccine, and system automation.
The process begins when staff members go online to update their contact information on the web-based system. Once complete, Inform Health’s vaccination software will invite staff members to book their first appointment via automated SMS notifications. They can then log in to the system, view clinic availability and book their first vaccination appointment.
When staff members attend their first appointment and receive their first dose, the clinical staff record the national vaccination data set and confirm the patient is suitable for their next dose. On confirmation, the system will invite the patient by SMS to book their second appointment within the designated timeframe decided by the different vaccine manufacturers and current guidance.
Should staff members fail to book their second appointment, the system will send repeated automated reminders before the start of the second dose window, before alerting administrative personnel that they have missed their vaccination.
Inform Health reconfigured its sexual health systems earlier this year, which are being used by multiple NHS customers, including Barts Health NHS Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, to operate streamlined Covid-19 staff antigen and antibody testing programmes, research programmes and even face mask training.
Sue Bunn, co-founder of Inform Health, explains that the software's capacity to manage multiple patient cohorts and manufacturers' vaccines simultaneously represents a lifeline for NHS trusts working under immense pressure during the pandemic’s second wave.
“With tens of thousands of NHS staff off sick or self-isolating because of Covid-19, the MRHA’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and, most recently, the Moderna vaccine is welcome news for trusts that understandably want to provide vital protection to staff and ensure they are able to cope with an increasing number of patients requiring care" she said.
“As a committed technology partner to multiple NHS trusts and with a ten-year track record of delivering innovative technology solutions to sexual health, HIV and SARC services, we felt duty bound to support our customers in any way we could.
"At the onset of the pandemic, we worked around the clock to rapidly develop systems that would better manage Covid-19 staff testing programmes – systems that have saved Nottingham University Hospitals 180,000 staff hours between April and December alone. Now we’re proud to offer our NHS customers an off the shelf system that will automate the complex administration processes and deliver substantial savings in time and resource for staff immunisation programmes too.”