New resources to make COVID vaccine booking easier

Morgan Liotta

18/01/2022 4:16:01 PM

In addition to streamlining online vaccine bookings, GPs can better understand the system with a new RACGP self-directed learning activity.

GP on laptop
GPs can report the education kit as a self-directed learning activity, earning two CPD points per hour of learning.

Continuing its collaboration with Healthdirect Australia and the Department of Health (DoH), the RACGP has released a suite of COVID-19 practice essentials vaccine booking resources, comprising an education kit and webinar series.
The resources are designed to provide further support to ensure seamless online booking integration for COVID-19 vaccines through the Vaccine Clinic Finder (VCF).  
The national rollout of VCF Connect – the Australian Digital Health Agency’s secure online portal that allows practices to update their COVID-19 vaccination services information – is also underway, with practices receiving a registration email from the DoH when it is available for them.
To help GPs navigate the new system, the RACGP has released a Practice Essentials Education Kit – COVID Vaccine Booking Program.
The kit informs GPs and practices on the role of the VCF in improving access to COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, as well as how to keep VCF information updated with VCF Connect and to integrate online booking systems.
RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management representative Dr David Adam was involved in the kit’s development. He told newsGP it is a useful resource for GPs.
‘Although the VCF Connect system may be fairly straightforward for many GPs and practice managers, the education materials [in the kit] help explain the context and rationale, and provide clear instructions on what information they will need to get started and use the system,’ Dr Adam said.
The education kit also familiarises GPs with the VCF patient journey, to ensure patients are best connected with practices to receive their vaccines. According to the kit, understanding the patient journey will allow practice staff to provide optimum guidance, given they will likely be responding to patient queries regarding their experience of the VCF.
GPs can also use the education kit as a self-directed learning activity, reporting the activity for the equivalent of two RACGP CPD points per hour of learning.
‘As a self-directed resource, GPs can choose the materials that best suit their situation and preferred method of learning, and put the information into practice quickly to get the most out of it,’ Dr Adam said.
The first webinar, presented by Dr Adam, provides an overview of the VCF, online appointment booking systems and VCF Connect. It also details how practices can integrate their online vaccine appointments with VCF Connect and how to update practice details in real time.
As part of the resource suite, a second webinar is scheduled in the coming weeks. Using case studies, the webinar will address existing challenges with Healthdirect services, such as vaccination sites closed due to COVID-related staff shortages and outbreaks, and vaccination booking cancellations.
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