The introduction of electronic consent for the school aged immunization program

The introduction of electronic consent for the school aged immunization program
Rebecca Footer, Owen Foster
Public Health Nursing, 8 December 2021
Historically, consent for treatment in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service has been collected using traditional paper forms. For public health services, such as immunizations, this process involved significant time, space, paper, and staff resources. In a bid to provide a more modern, secure, cost-effective and paperless service, an electronic consent (eConsent) form for the routine school aged immunization program was designed and successfully piloted for the HPV 1 vaccine in 25 schools during the summer of 2019, with an average of 80% return rate. This was not only significantly higher than paper consent returns, there was also a significantly quicker return rate. These factors resulted in the clinical record being updated more quickly than ever before which reduced clinical risk. Following the pilot, the program was launched countywide for all school aged immunizations in September 2020. Since its launch some minor issues have been identified but resolved quickly and efficiently. Although still in its early days it is felt that the eConsent system has promoted a more informed and easier collaboration across sectors and has reduced operating costs. Although the use of electronic consent needs to be used more widely, it is felt that this new practice is a success.

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