The copy facility, known as “write-back”, has now been tested and rolled out to all practices. Whilst, in most cases, you will see vaccination details appearing automatically in patient records – as if they were entered manually by practice staff – you may also see some anomalies. This letter and the associated FAQ attempt to explain the reasons for the anomalies and what should be done to address them. The headlines are: 

  • EMIS write-back in NI currently copies only GP and pharmacy vaccination records to CIS. Work is on-going to address data quality issues with Trust data in order to minimise additional work for practices. It is expected that trust data will be copied to practices in the coming weeks. Vision and Merlok write-back includes data from all sources. 
  • Practices will have already received a bulk copy of records from VMS into their CIS and will from that point be receiving daily additions. 
  • Records for patients vaccinated by the practice that were previously entered only into the CIS by practice staff, have been extracted from the CIS (by the once-off search that practices were asked to complete) and uploaded into VMS to help create a single source of data for vaccination reporting. Measures are in place to prevent these records being copied back to the CIS from VMS. 
  • If your practice has not completed a once-off search it is essential that you contact your Practice Support Manager (PSM) now to facilitate that search. This search is only for those records that exist solely in the practice CIS from before the practice started to be record in the VMS 
  • Where a practice has entered records both into the CIS and VMS then those entered directly into VMS will be written back into the CIS. Whist this will create duplicates, it was agreed that the record in the CIS should not be overwritten because it may contain important additional information. Other countries have adopted the same approach. 
  • VMS records that cannot be matched to a patient record in your CIS are sent to an exception list for follow-up by a BSO team to be set up specifically to investigate and help resolve patient matching issues. Note that they may be in contact with your practice to help address matching issues with your patient records.