Doctors waiting for software update to check covid vaccinations

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Computer. Source: Bhikku Amitha/Pixabay

People who have already been vaccinated against coronavirus may receive an additional request from their doctor to get a jab as family doctors' software has not been updated. The problem should be solved by the end of March.

On Monday, family doctors will have to check risk-group patients against a database to see if any of them were included in the mass vaccination test this weekend. This will have to be done patient-by-patient as the software does not yet exist to check all patients at once.  

There are more than 400 family doctor centers in Estonia and 80 percent of them use Medisoft software which is still awaiting an update to be able to use a cross-inquiry list. 

Katrin Reinhold, head of the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center (Tervise ja Heaolu Infosüsteemide Keskus/ TEHIK), said the software is currently being developed.

She said the current hold up has been caused by family doctors and their software vendor being unable to agree on how the process should proceed. Due to this, Excel spreadsheets must be used until the update has been created.

Reinhold said TEHIK can create the cross-inquiry list and introduce it via X-Road but it will not reach doctors until their software has been updated.

"Moving this kind of data is first and foremost an agreement on business processes, and only then can an ICT service be offered, i.e. there must be an order for such an e-solution first," she said.

Eero Merilind, a family doctor in Tallinn, said patience is needed. "I don't know any people who are bored right now. Everyone is doing their job as well as they can," she told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Sunday.

Jako Heinmets, a representative of Medisoft, said the update should be ready by the middle of this week and will then be tested. Family doctors will be able to start using it from March 24.

Heinmets said the hold up has been caused by data protection issues and that people's data is very strictly regulated in Estonia. He said the issue has now been solved.

Patients can inform their family doctor by email if they were vaccinated over the weekend to avoid being contacted twice, Merilind said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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