Two system suppliers, PharmaOutcomes and SystmOne, have rolled out a new service which enables information about flu vaccinations to be sent electronically from pharmacies to GP practices, NHS Digital announced today.
Th roll out follows a successful pilot that took place in Leeds in October involving 113 community pharmacies and 83 GP practices. During the two-week pilot, 2,500 messages were electronically transferred.
The service was then expanded across England for pharmacies and GPs using PharmaOutcomes and SystmOne over the following two months.
So far, over 30,000 electronic messages carrying flu vaccine information have been sent during this winter’s flu season. According to NHS Digital, this has saved time for GP practices and pharmacies, helped to improve data quality and reduced the possibility of errors.
The system also prevents patients who have already had a flu vaccine from being contacted unnecessarily and could be used to identify those in at-risk groups who haven’t had their vaccine.
Vishen Ramkisson, a GP and senior clinical lead at NHS Digital, said: “This is a valuable enhancement which helps ensure the information in patients’ medical records is comprehensive and up to date. Services which make it easier for health professionals to share critical information, such as about whether a vaccination has been given, enable them to provide the best care possible to patients.”
Other suppliers are expected to start their roll out later this year, following similar pilot schemes.