PCNs will be able to use IT systems other than Pinnacle to record Covid vaccinations, including SystmOne, from mid-July, NHS Digital has announced.
Currently, pharmacy IT system Pinnacle is the only point of care (PoC) system available for recording Covid vaccinations, but NHS Digital has announced that more suppliers will become available over the coming months to provide ‘greater choice’ in primary care and ‘reduce reliance on any one supplier’.
This includes TPP (SystmOne), which has passed NHS Digital assurance, and will become available to PCNs from ‘mid-July’, as well as EVA health (eVacc), which is ready this week.
Meanwhile, other suppliers, including EMIS (EMIS Covid Vaccs PCN hub) are still going through the assurance process, with NHS Digital stating that several systems will finish this evaluation process in the ‘coming weeks’.
NHS Digital has assured PCNs that the new systems will ensure vaccination data will flow into the GP record within 48 hours, as is the case currently.
When a patient is vaccinated, PoC systems send vital data to national systems, including product and batch details and record any adverse reactions. This data also feeds back to GP systems to link to medical records and the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS).
On its website, NHS Digital said introducing more systems to join Pinnacle will ‘create a mixed economy of point of care applications, allowing greater choice across settings and reducing reliance on any one supplier’, adding this strategy is also supported by NHS England, the RCGP and BMA among others.
It added: ‘This work is in response to requests from primary care organisations asking for access to a greater choice of systems.’
It also said it has developed standards to ensure the systems provide the necessary functionality and that flows ‘safely and securely’ into the wider health and care system.
The recently updated enhanced service specification states that PCN groupings should use a single PoC system for entering new vaccinations to minimise the risk of duplicate payments, but notes that this does not apply while PCNs are transitioning to a new PoC system.