March 3rd, 2021
Leading primary care data specialists PRIMIS has been commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) to develop and maintain the national data specification that identifies priority patients for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Based within the university’s School of Medicine, PRIMIS is a team of specialist primary health care informaticians who produce highly effective and practical solutions to help people access, understand and use patient data held on GP IT systems.
For the past 15 years, the team has been commissioned by PHE to develop and maintain a data specification that enables GP clinical system suppliers to provide regular activity reports back to PHE and the Government regarding influenza vaccine uptake, particularly within priority ‘at risk’ groups.
The data specification consists of thousands of relevant clinical terms and inherent logical business rules that help GP clinical system suppliers to identify eligible patients. Examples of reports produced by the programme can be seen here.
During the 2020 pandemic, PRIMIS was again approached by PHE, this time to produce the data specification for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The specification, which includes over 17,000 unique clinical codes, is currently being used for reporting purposes and is the main system adopted in the UK to identify and invite patients for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Dr Dai Evans, PRIMIS Clinical Adviser and GP, was delighted that PHE had chosen PRIMIS to carry out this work. He said:
“Translating the JCVI requirements for vaccinating the population into a coding terminology and logical business rules has not been a trivial task. The specification has now been implemented across the NHS both to invite patients for vaccination and to monitor the success of the vaccination programme.”
Kerry Oliver, Managing Director of PRIMIS added:
“We are very proud of our work on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which is real testament to the expertise and skills of the PRIMIS team, who have been working at the very forefront of primary care health informatics for over 20 years”.
Throughout the pandemic, PRIMIS has been offering its expert advice to healthcare partners and suppliers on the data flows and coding of Covid-19 and the Covid-19 vaccination.
There has been much interest from academia regarding the Covid-19 specification, including an agreement in place with the University of Oxford regarding use of the specification to support their ongoing Covid-19 related research programmes through the Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC), and also through integration of the specification into the university’s own statistical analytics platform, OpenSAFELY.
This is the first of its kind in the world and will be an important revolutionary and rapid approach to data analytics.
In addition, the team are working with colleagues within UoN’s School of Medicine on how the data specification may also be used to support research in vaccination hesitancy.
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