A digital tool developed to help manage Covid-19 vaccinations could be a “gamechanger” for the NHS, according to a senior health service official.
NHS Scotland is using a digital platform from software company ServiceNow to roll out the vaccine.
The technology has already been used to manage the Covid-19 response, including for contact tracing and test results.
It is now being used to mass schedule vaccination appointments and send out letters to the public, and from next week it will allow them to manage bookings online.
The system was launched on January 20 and has so far scheduled more than 300,000 appointments.
Deryck Mitchelson, director of digital and chief information security officer at NHS National Services Scotland, said his team had worked quickly to get things up and running.
He said in the coming weeks they will look to see if the system can speed up the vaccination programme, and it will also be used in future vaccination programmes including for winter flu jabs.
“I think this will be the start of a gamechanger in Scotland, I have no doubts about that,” he said.
“We built this quickly for Covid but we see it as a legacy that can be used for all future vaccination scheduling.
“I think we are actually starting to get the foundations of what I would see very much as a public facing health system for Scotland.”
He said the platform could be used for booking medical tests and X-rays, arranging consultations or for patients to view their medical information.
“I expect it will be very easy to make these test results available via this service so people can log in to see that information,” he said.
Though nothing has been agreed yet, he said the system could “make it easy for people to log in and start to see what information we’ve got on them in their medical record and interact with any services they would like to interact with”.
He added: “I think this perhaps could become the cornerstone of our digital health services.”