Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Queues for flu jab blamed on slow surgery computer

Queues for flu jab blamed on slow surgery computer

A COMPUTER problem has been blamed after patients were forced to queue for their flu jabs outside a doctors’ surgery in Henley.

People attending the Hart Surgery’s clinic on Saturday morning had to wait in a line all the way back to the car park off York Road.

At one point, there were about 50 people waiting as well as 20 more inside the building.

The surgery says that software used to process patients was running slowly and staff couldn’t bring up patient records quickly enough.

Practice manager Sarah Moberly said: “I believe it was mostly to do with IT problems and our software which was running so slowly our clinicians couldn’t bring up a patient record quickly. We have to record every flu jab we give correctly.

“I completely appreciate we had some cross customers and we really feel bad about that — we didn’t want that at all.

“I received one complaint and I think people were ticked off that we gave them a set time and when they turned up they had to join a queue.

“The reason we give them a set time and ask them to book is to space them out throughout the morning and to make sure we have the correct number of flu jabs in stock.” Mrs Moberly said the computer system, called EMIS, was internet cloud-based and was used nationwide but there had been problems with it over recent days.

She said: “It has been slow over the past week. There has been a flurry of people saying, ‘what is going on with EMIS this week? It has been so slow’.

“We’re very sorry — we completely appreciate it wasn’t ideal. We’re talking about what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen next year.

“We normally vaccinate 600 people in a morning and the clinicians can do one a minute.

“We’re very used to doing this, we have done this for years but on this occasion the computers let us down.” Last year the surgery tried a new system where its clinicians picked the next person at the front of the queue and Mrs Moberly said this worked well.

Previously each doctor or nurse had their own list of patients and they treated the next person one at a time.The surgery may now return to this system next year but it is not without its own potential problems.

Mrs Moberly said: “If we have a problem with one person being late or a clinician running slowly for a reason, the whole line is then put back. If you get someone who faints or something like that, the whole of that clinician’s list is thrown back.”

She added that every patient who had booked was seen on Saturday.

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