eHealth News - RAT results available on My Covid Record editor Rebecca McBeth

Results from Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are being reported electronically and made available to view on My Covid Record.

On 6 December 2021, Covid-19 lab test results were added to My Covid Record using a FHIR-based API developed by Sysmex. The API queries the Environmental Science and Research (ESR) Eclair database, a Sysmex solution which holds all Covid testing data from around the country.

Following the roll out of RATs in pharmacies, pharmacy staff members must now report all results to the Ministry of Health using the RAT Reporting Solution in ESR Eclair.

These tests are currently free for asymptomatic unvaccinated travellers aged over 12 years and their use is due to expand under the government’s new three-phase approach to Omicron.

Sysmex head of software development, Graeme Hibbert, says the company was already in the process of developing FHIR-based APIs to allow third parties to query its lab test databases.

“That API was already in the works and we had a project to install it in the Northern region, so we were able to install it at the ESR to expose the data for Covid testing,” he says.

Hibbert says the API worked smoothly due to a lot of previous effort to ensure standardisation of the data being exchanged, such as ensuring a standard code for a Covid test is used.

Routine reporting of the Health Provider Index (HPI) means the provider where the test was performed can also be displayed to consumers.

“When we came to put the FHIR API on top of that data it worked well because the data underneath was already quite clean,” he explains.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson says pharmacies are currently the only providers of supervised RATs who use Eclair to enter results, but that role may be expanded shortly.

Pharmacies are required to report results in Eclair for payment purposes as that’s how they’re tracked by the Ministry.

Pharmacists create a report for the patient using the pharmacy RAT forms in ESR Eclair by searching for the patient by entering their NHI number or last name and date of birth, recording their contact mobile number and their RAT result.

Individuals that have tested negative are automatically notified via text and a patient’s RAT result(s) is available to view online on their My Covid Record via the API.



Posted by

Liam McLeavey

Operations Manager

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