A pilot scheme in which pharmacies and GP practices are sharing information on flu vaccinations is underway to try and help ease workload on GPs and speed up vaccination efforts.
The NHS Digital-run pilot scheme in Leeds means information about flu vaccinations is being sent from local pharmacies to GP practices via clinical systems.
Electronic notifications about patients who have had their flu vaccination in a pharmacy are being sent securely to their GP via clinical systems in an attempt to save time for GP practices and pharmacies, help to improve data quality and reduce the possibility of errors.
NHS Digital said that because the details could be added from GP systems to the patient’s medical record as soon as the notification was received from the pharmacy, information was more up-to-date, thus helping ensure patients who had already had a flu vaccine were not contacted unnecessarily to arrange a vaccination appointment.
Community pharmacies and GP practices in Leeds are the first in the country to send and receive notifications in this way and initially, only pharmacies that use PharmOutcomes and GP practices using SystmOne will be able to send and receive the electronic notifications.
GPs involved in the pilot will still receive the full details of the vaccination in a PDF document and can add any additional information to the patient record manually as appropriate.
In the unlikely event that the electronic message cannot be sent, pharmacies can revert to their existing processes, so GPs have been advised to continue to check for notifications received via NHSmail, fax or post.
NHS Digital said that if the pilot was a success, it would seek to roll out the service nationally later this year, initially for PharmOutcomes and SystmOne users and then for other suppliers, following similar pilot schemes.
The content of the electronic notification is based on the flu vaccination data standard developed in partnership with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).