Mpox is a viral infection that spreads through skin-to-skin contact. It first emerged in Australia in May 2022, following a global increase in mpox cases.
In response, NSW Health secured a supply of a vaccine that can be used to protect against mpox. Thousands of doses of the vaccine were purchased in 2022, with more expected to arrive in 2023.
This allowed the vaccination of high-risk groups to begin in August 2022 through dedicated clinics.
However, there was no statewide system for patients to find clinics and make appointments. There was also no dedicated platform for clinic staff to manage the influx of mpox vaccination bookings.
eHealth NSW developed a vaccination administration management system for the mass COVID-19 vaccination program. Leveraging on its success, the system was adapted to support mpox vaccination.
The plan included a portal for patients to see all clinics and appointments in NSW and book their mpox vaccination. It would also feature pre-screening questions for patients to answer that help identify any health risks that their clinician should be aware of.
The system was also designed to support clinic staff by providing them with real-time access to information from the patient booking portal. Crucially, the system would automate the administration processes needed to provide the vaccine.
The data recorded in Monkeypox VAM would also automatically upload into the Australian Immunisation Register. This helps to ensure that there is a consistent record of vaccinations received by all Australians.
eHealth NSW collaborated with the Ministry of Health, Local Health Districts and ACON to deliver Monkeypox VAM. eHealth NSW contributed by:
- Managing the project to ensure it was delivered as quickly as possible
- Testing the system to ensure it worked as intended
- Developing training materials for patients and staff
- Working with clinical and technical staff to determine the system requirements.
Nurse Manager, Sexual Health,
Women's Health & Youth Services,
Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
The Monkeypox VAM system was built, tested and launched in just 40 days. It is now live at 26 clinics.*
10,611 vaccine appointments have been made using Monkeypox VAM since its launch in October 2022. The platform has also supported clinicians to administer 8,995 vaccinations to the NSW community.
Importantly, it has made it easier for patients to be protected against mpox as they have greater choice over where and when they receive the vaccine.
Clinic staff are also supported by having the right information to quickly check the patient in and confirm their ability to receive the vaccine. The dedicated platform makes it easier for clinicians to enter the necessary information post-vaccination.
Benefits for patients:
- Greater choice of vaccination location and timing. The patient booking portal displays all clinics and appointment times, rather than having to go through many different vaccination clinic websites.
- Easy-to-use booking portal. A tried and tested platform that has been enhanced following its use for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Time savings with online pre-screening. Important health questions are asked on the booking portal to help save time on the appointment day.
- Simpler appointment check in. Digital check-ins at vaccination clinics replace long waits in line.
Benefits for vaccination clinic staff:
- Dedicated system for mpox vaccinations. Tailored to the needs of clinics when delivering mpox vaccinations, rather than general appointment management software.
- Real-time patient information. The clinic system syncs with the patient booking portal to ensure staff have access to up-to-date information.
- Reduces manual administration. The Monkeypox VAM system replaces many manual processes including appointment confirmations and reminders, and patient check-ins.
* Data correct as of February 2023
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