Gone are the days of manually collecting the immunisation consent forms of more than 400 schools in Hertfordshire.

As of September, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust successfully digitised the National Flu Immunisation (consent) process for schools in the area.

Billy Aspinall, assistant director of Performance and Information at the trust said not only has it made the process more efficient for parents, but it has also contributed to significant admin, time and triaging benefits.

“Instead of driving the letters in the boot of the car to more than 400 different schools, we now email the school a link to the letter and the form, they then send it to the parent/ caregiver who just clicks on it and completes it when and where they like. The efficiency benefits are fantastic,” Aspinall said.

So far it has been rolled out across 225 schools with more than 27,000 consents received – this forms part of phase one which involves pre-schoolers to Year 4 students.

Prior to the online form, trust admin would have to manually triage and sort through forms.

“The triage process takes two minutes now… it is what I am most proud of,” Aspinall said.

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust digitises flu consent process for pre-preschoolers to Year 4 students across Hertfordshire.

The trust used UK-based supplier NDL’s eforms package to create the electronic form. The company provides application integration and mobile working software toolkits.

“We were able to leverage our own technology baseline to do it. We had the building blocks already,” Aspinall said.

“The biggest benefit is on the back of this is that we have implemented electronic triaging and reporting. Because we are collecting the data in the consent form we can use that data for reporting purposes.

“We are able to process it through our data warehouse and in doing that we are able to create all the reports the service would need… such as the percentage of forms returned from that school, which used to be done manually and updated on a spreadsheet.”

Aspinall said while it is not integrated onto their Patient Administration System (PAS) having found no requirement to do so, it has been built on their sequel server database (SQL) which sits on their existing Business Intelligence environment.

The next phase is to digitise secondary school age immunisations which will be rolled out from January 2018.