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Information about flu vaccinations is being sent from pharmacies to GP practices in a pilot scheme run by NHS Digital.
Through the pilot, which is taking place in Leeds, electronic notifications about patients who have had their flu vaccination in a pharmacy will be sent securely to their GP via clinical systems.
This will save time for GP practices and pharmacies, help to improve data quality and reduce the possibility of errors.
Because the details can be added from GP systems to the patient’s medical record as soon as the notification is received from the pharmacy, information will be more up-to-date. This will help make sure patients who have already had a flu vaccine are 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. Initially, only pharmacies using PharmOutcomes and GP practices using SystmOne will be able to send and receive the electronic notifications.
If the pilot is a success, we will work towards rolling 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). The PRSB worked with clinicians from across primary care to develop and endorse the standard.
Notes to editors
- Information for GP practices: GPs 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 may revert to their existing processes, so GPs should continue to check for notifications received via NHSmail, fax or post.
- Information for community pharmacies: The way pharmacists record flu vaccinations in PharmOutcomes will not change. The system will check whether the patient’s GP practice can receive the new message type before sending it. If the electronic notification cannot be received, the system will automatically revert to the existing process.
NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2018/19 financial year, NHS Digital published 265 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.
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