HSE National Immunisation Office wins IT Project of the Year at the 2022 CIO Awards
Pictured: Back row (L-R): Martin Wickham, OoCIO, Joseph McManus, PWC, John Swords, GS1, Muriel Pate, Pharmacist Operations.
Front row (L-R): Fionnuala King, Chief Pharmacist, Amy Colgan, NIO, Kerry Ryder, NIO, Mariangela Toma, NIO
The National Immunisation Office (NIO) was honoured to receive IT Project of the Year and to be placed ‘Highly Commended’ in the Outstanding Response to COVID-19 category at the CIO & IT Leader Awards, which took place Thursday, 24th March 2022.
Our award recognises the dedication and commitment of all those involved in the implementation of ScanVax and TrackVax in order to support the safe and effective rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ireland.
The development of ScanVax and TrackVax, a collaboration with GS1 Ireland, mean that for the first time in Ireland, a complete vaccine inventory could be seamlessly available to the pharmacist on the system at the point of delivery.
Director of the NIO, Dr Lucy Jessop, on the impact of the project on the national COVID-19 vaccination programme:
“The feedback on TrackVax from the Senior Management Teams and the High Level Taskforce has been really positive in terms of enabling visibility of vaccine usage and it has been recognised that TrackVax has made a significant contribution to the efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations”.
“Congratulations to Ireland’s HSE National Immunisation Office on winning the ‘IT project of the year award’ at the CIO & IT Leaders Awards 2022. TrackVax is one of the best use cases for barcode scanning that I have ever seen; it is deservedly recognised as an award-winning implementation of barcode scanning in healthcare. The NIO’s collaboration with GS1 Ireland on TrackVax is a world-class example of GS1 standards in action enabling the fast, efficient and safe tracking of vaccine stock from HSE National Cold Chain Service to Pharmacists and right through to the client in all of Ireland’s vaccination centres”.
Miguel A. Lopera, GS1 President and CEO
NIO response to COVID-19
The NIO has been leading the rollout of routine vaccination programmes on behalf of the HSE since it was established in 2005, providing vaccines to target populations to prevent and protect against 13 vaccine-preventable diseases in line with the Department of Health Immunisation Policy.
As COVID-19 vaccines became available, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) needed an efficient and effective way of receiving, tracking, administering and reporting vaccine doses across 43 Centralised Vaccination Clinics (CVCs). The NIO collaborated with Pharmacists, ICT, operations, GS1 Ireland and National Cold Chain to create an efficient and reliable vaccine delivery service.
Two new software solutions were developed: firstly, ScanVax, to scan vaccine deliveries to the national vaccine system. This meant that vaccinators are presented with only scanned receipts when administering a vaccine. ScanVax would become a one stop solution for creating safe, reliable, local vaccine lists for vaccinators, containing all the correct batch and expiry data with no need for transcription.
Later TrackVax, was developed, which built on the interface of ScanVax and would be used to allow keep track of vaccine stock and usage in CVCs. It has since been installed in all CVCs across the country. TrackVax enabled, for the first time nationally, an automated vaccine reconciliation process with a by-product of national stock level and loss reporting.
ICT General Manager at the HSE National Immunisation, Kerry Ryder, on the innovation behind the software:
"We had approximately 10,000 vaccine deliveries, 4 vaccine types and 20 data fields for each vaccine type. ScanVax standardised everything and meant we could capture records both accurately and quickly. Vaccine data is now seamlessly reportable for the first time in a vaccine programme in Ireland.”
Impact of ScanVax and TrackVax
Both solutions are provided by GS1 Ireland. There is 100% uptake of the software and users now describe it as essential to their service.
The utilisation of TrackVax within CVCs has enabled the administration of over 4,500,000 doses in a speedy, reliable, standardised and accurate manner. Local CVCs are able to manage their stock more effectively through the utilisation of accurate data, with upto 5,000 doses administered a day with a rolling expiry time and upto 30 vaccinators to keep stocked, this was a significant efficiency and safety mechanism.
“At our peak we were vaccinating 8 clients per minute, we couldn’t have done that without TrackVax.”
Joan Peppard, Pharmacy Vaccination lead Dublin Mid-Leinster, HSE.
To date, the software has managed over 4.5 million doses, for 5000 vaccinators, 50 pharmacists, 60 service managers and most importantly, our whole population attending CVCs.
“From a medication safety perspective, the use of Trackvax across our vaccination centres really helps to standardise our workflow, ensuring vaccines are labelled clearly with all relevant details, which is so important when delivering a programme on such a big scale.”
Muriel Pate, Medication Safety Specialist Pharmacist, HSE Quality and Patient Safety Directorate
Read more about this project on the GS1 website
Watch this video to learn more about the project