NHS system supports hospitals with COVID vaccine rollout

In-house solution enables vaccination data to be captured at the point of delivery

Image by Alexandra Koch from Pixabay

A bespoke system built by NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit is supporting over 400 sites to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The National Immunisation and Vaccination System (NIVS) enables data to be captured at the point of delivery by hospital and mass vaccination sites as they vaccinate health and social care workers and priority groups of patients identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

The web-based application, which went live at the beginning of December, has already captured 1.77 million COVID vaccination events in these settings.

NIVS enables real-time input on an individual basis to help ensure patient safety and data quality.

By working in close partnership with the programme team and hospital hubs, we have been able to rapidly mobilise this web-based application for use in the COVID-19 vaccination programme

The solution uses a patient’s NHS number to automatically access their vaccination history, with vaccinators guided through a clinical decision support process to ensure the intended recipient is suitable for the vaccine.

The system captures batch information by vaccine type and manufacturer, along with any necessary expiry dates or defrost expiry dates and can also be used to ensure that patients are receiving both vaccine doses within specified timeframes.

For healthcare workers, the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) number is recorded to allow trusts to quickly and easily monitor vaccine take-up among their employees.

And validated and consolidated data is submitted to NHS Digital on a daily basis to automatically update GP records, alongside informing ministerial reviews, service management, and ‘call and recall’ processes.

Live reporting is also available as a home screen dashboard within NIVS, which allows users to see numbers vaccinated in the current day, the previous day, and a running total by key cohorts.

The system was originally developed to capture administered vaccinations under the flu immunisation programme, but with capability built-in to extend to the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Ayub Bhayat, chief data officer at Arden & GEM, said: “By working in close partnership with the programme team and hospital hubs, we have been able to rapidly mobilise this web-based application for use in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

This is a notable success story for an NHS-developed agile solution

“NIVS has been through a robust assurance process which has included clinical safety and information governance approval. And, crucially, the system has also been tested in a live clinical environment as part of the flu vaccination programme, recording more than 3.2 million flu vaccination events to date.”

David Walliker, chief digital and partnerships officer at Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Delivering COVID-19 vaccinations is a huge challenge for everyone involved.

“We are very appreciative to the team at NHS Arden & GEM CSU for building the NIVS solution, which works very well, in rapid time and for evolving this solution with us to meet our needs.

“This is a notable success story for an NHS-developed agile solution.”

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