On 8 December NHS Trusts across England made history as they started administering Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to patients.
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MKUH) was one of 50 Trusts designated by NHS England to become the first COVID-19 vaccination hubs and kick off what would be the country’s biggest vaccination programme to date.
Before the 50 COVID-19 vaccination hubs were publicly announced, the MKUH team had already started thinking of ways they could make the rollout of the programme as safe and efficient as possible for their local community and their own staff.
In doing so, the Trust decided to become early adopters of Cerner’s Mass Vaccination workflow, which would then be implemented within their eCare system – MKUH’s electronic health records (EHR) platform supported by Cerner Millennium®.
In accordance with rapidly changing and evolving national guidelines and requirements on COVID-19 vaccination, the MKUH and Cerner teams collaborated at an unprecedented pace to ensure the workflow aligned with the Trust’s processes and existing systems – the result: a workflow was prepared in less than two days.
A useful, usable solution
At time of publication, and only 10 days since the programme launched, nearly 2,500 individuals from across the region have been vaccinated at MKUH – including 1,700+ patients and 575 staff.
Core to the success of the solution and the quick adoption by the vaccination teams has been the simplified and user-centric approach taken during the design process – this took into consideration important factors such as the expected high throughput of people to be vaccinated every day, as well as end users’ potential unfamiliarity with EHR systems. This led to a streamlined and easy-to-use workflow that meets all relevant safety and clinical requirements.
“This workflow has been easy to train to staff who have not used Millennium before. It has also facilitated detailed real-time reporting of the vaccination centre’s activity as well as ensuring accurate information is recorded in clinical records, which are shared with community and primary care services via Cerner’s Health Information Exchange (HIE)”
Debbie Phillips, chief clinical information officer, MKUH
About the workflow
To support the high volumes of people being vaccinated per day, the workflow includes a quick and easy record search functionality; enabling staff to either easily create a new record in the EHR -if the person had not already been registered as a patient- or rapidly locate the existing record of the person due to receive the vaccine.
Once identified and checked-in, the system triggers an order for the required COVID-19 vaccine. The person is screened for allergies, and the first dose is then administered by another member of staff.
Finally, the person is checked-out, committing to the EHR that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
All recorded information is then readily available within MKUH’s EHR, forming an important part of the person’s electronic record and medical history. The data also enables analytics to be created, supporting monitoring of the programme’s progress and reporting against national databases, including the NHS’ National Immunisation Vaccination System (NIVS).
“With a digital-first approach, MKUH focussed on embedding our COVID-19 vaccination workflow within our EHR, focusing on patient safety, data security and ease of use. The digital Informatics teams worked around the clock with Cerner to ensure a robust solution, with real-time analytics and reporting capability.”
Craig York, chief technology officer, MKUH
To learn more about Cerner’s Mass Vaccination workflow, visit COVID-19: Vaccine Preparedness or speak to your Cerner relationship owner.