EOI – COVID-19 – National Booking System (NBS) and Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) FAQs

This page provides further information on  the National Booking System (NBS) and the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

National Booking System (NBS) FAQs

  1. The National Booking System will provide one front door where people can check their eligibility and find out where to get a vaccine, with links to call clinics or book online (this includes GPs, pharmacists, state-run clinics etc.). The NBS will include:

    An eligibility checker that the public, clinicians and others can use to determine whether a patient is in a priority population group.

    A listing of authorised vaccination locations along with their opening hours, contact details, and if they have one, a link to their online booking system. This list will be the mandatory minimum for clinics to provide. It will be based on the National Health Services Directory

  2. The NBS will be based on the existing National Health Services Directory, operated by Healthdirect. It is already integrated with HotDocs and Healthengine to surface appointments, and can link through to existing clinics’ websites and phone numbers.

    The Commonwealth will work with software vendors and pharmacies to continue to integrate the NBS with other pharmacy systems quickly and seamlessly as the sector allows.

    Please note the PPA Portal will not integrate with the NBS.

  3. Pharmacies are strongly encouraged to adopt a booking system from many suitable solutions that exist in the Australian market. This will provide a better consumer experience and may encourage consumers toward pharmacies. Will the booking process include screening and consenting questions or will this be done within the pharmacy?

    There will be an eligibility checker that the public, clinicians and others can use to determine whether a patient is in a priority population group.

    The booking system is designed to help patients get an appointment for a vaccine as easily and safely as possible. Questions of consent, other medical conditions etc. will not be stored in the booking system.

  4. It is not mandatory to use the NBS to manage appointments, however each pharmacy will be mandated to appear in the NBS service finder. If pharmacies have an online booking system already, they will be able to operate without substantial changes to their existing systems and processes. Consumers will be directed to their service through the National Health Services Directory listing of vaccination clinics, making a booking online (where available) or by phone. This provides pharmacies with the flexibility to manage walk-ins, to engage with their regular patients, and reduce the cost and risk of change that could detract from the success of the vaccination rollout.

    Clinics without an online booking system are encouraged to use one as this can make it easier for patients to access the vaccine, but this is not a mandatory requirement.

  5. There will be an eligibility checker that will be available when phase 1a commences. This eligibility checker will enable the public, clinicians and others to determine whether a patient is in a priority population group. As the online checker is a self-declaration, and not a prerequisite for making a booking, evidence would need to be observed by the pharmacy at the time the patient arrives.

Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) FAQs

  1. There are a number of ways a vaccination can be recorded in AIR at the site of administration. For a healthcare provider to record a vaccination in AIR they must first register with PRODA and HPOS. We recommend any healthcare providers who wish to administer the COVID-19 vaccine do this well in advance of the vaccine rollout.

    The ways to record a vaccination in AIR include:

    – Direct upload through AIR portal (traditional way): Registered Healthcare providers can upload directly into AIR via the AIR portal. Further information available on the Services Australia website.

    – Direct upload from patient software: The Commonwealth is working closely with the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA) and the medical software industry to accelerate the enhancements required of clinical information systems and practice software to support healthcare providers to meet their new mandatory reporting requirements to AIR.

    – Clinician Vaccine Integrated Platform: The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is building a Clinician Vaccine Integrated Platform (CVIP) to support direct upload into AIR of a person’s vaccination at the site of administration. This may be used by any vaccine administrator nationally.

  2. If the vaccination is accurately recorded and validated in the AIR, then the Immunisation History Statement (IHS) with the updated vaccination information can be viewed within 24-48 hours by the clinician through the AIR portal or by the consumer via Medicare online, Express Plus Medicare mobile app or via the My Health Record (including where integrated with clinical information systems).

  3. There are several ways a vaccine administrator can confirm if the patient has received the first dose. This includes, but is not limited to:

    – directly via the AIR portal;

    – once authorised, through accessing a patient’s My Health Record which will display the healthcare consumer’s Immunisation History Statement (IHS);

    – via the Clinician Vaccine Integrated Platform (CVIP) in development by the Australian Digital Health Agency; and,

    – through certain pharmacy software (where integrated with My Health Record and/or the AIR).

  4. Many software products are already integrated with AIR. There are modest updates required to record COVID-19 vaccinations. The Commonwealth is working closely with the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA) and the medical software industry to accelerate the enhancements required of clinical information systems to support clinicians to upload through their practice software. We encourage healthcare providers to talk to their software providers to discuss further when updates might be made available in their software.