Users of InterSystems’ TrakCare now access an appointment booking system to schedule Covid vaccinations in a bid to help save staff time.
Created in response to the overwhelming demand for vaccinations, the solution automates the booking of appointments and is already used by NHS Lothian in Scotland. The health board registered 7,055 members of staff and booked vaccination appointments for 6,100 of those through this system in just 16 days.
The process saved more than 500 hours of call centre time, avoided lengthy telephone queues and as a result has reduced delays in deploying vaccinations.
The tool generates appointments through patient notifications with a date, time, and location and integrates the information with each patient’s record. Once booked, the individual can manage their appointment via a secure portal.
Martin Egan, director of digital for NHS Lothian, said: “While costs are always an important consideration, on this occasion our priority was speed, safety and security.
“To ensure every member of staff could book an appointment to receive a vaccination as quickly and efficiently as possible was paramount. Providing greater choice, flexibility to amend bookings and making the process more user-friendly has played a big part in achieving that.”
By employing the scheduling tool healthcare organisations can completely automate the process. Doing so saves time and frees up call centre staff to book appointments for those residents who need additional support.
The Covid vaccination appointment system can be programmed to ensure second appointments are booked within the requisite time and reminders are sent.
Don Woodlock, head of healthcare solutions for InterSystems, added: “Covid vaccination booking is the largest administrative operations many health services have ever had to undertake.
“This solution frees resources for essential roles and will ensure the majority of bookings can be done online, saving significant time and costs.”
Digital tools are being used across England in order to manage the vaccine rollout. This includes Cornwall, which deployed an online system in December 2020, and University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) – which has deployed a digital vaccine consent solution to support urgent appointments.
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