COVID-19 AIR Upgrade
April 20, 2021
April 20, 2021
We recently met with the Services Australia team responsible for the Australian Immunisation Register to understand better how they are using the changes made to the Communicare AIR upload that is part of the recent COVID-19/AIR upgrade that many of our customers have now received.
The legislative changes that came into effect on March 1, 2021 introduced compliance requirements that the latest Communicare AIR upgrade will ensure are met.
Our discussion with Services Australia clarified the following points:
Compliance with the new legislation:
The new legislation made it mandatory for software vendors to update their products to include a serial number field, a completed overseas flag and additional patient and organisation identifiers in the upload to AIR. The latest Communicare AIR upgrade meets these requirements. If this additional information is available to those recording the immunisations, then it is required information under the new legislation.
If you use previous versions of Communicare to upload your administered COVID-19 vaccines, which you may do by adding the appropriate export codes, they will not be rejected by AIR. However, they will be non-compliant with the legislation IF:
– a serial number is available and is not provided
– a vaccine recorded elsewhere was completed overseas
Note, the transmission to AIR will not fail, however, there is the potential that you will be non-compliant with the legislation.
There is a locally produced Astra Zeneca vaccine due to be available in the near future and it is unknown at this stage if it will have the required serial number on the vials – recording of this serial number would be mandatory if available at the time of vaccination.
It is recommended that you upgrade Communicare to ensure that any vaccinations recorded for COVID-19 now and in the future are compliant with the new legislation.
AIR Encounter Place Provider Numbers:
Services Australia described their process to us for the ordering of vaccines and how they are tracking the administration and reporting of dispatched orders. They are using what they refer to as the “organisations AIR Provider Number”. In Communicare we refer to this as the Encounter Place Provider Number, see sections 5.4 and 5.5 of the comprehensive Immunisation guide for more information.
Services Australia are using this number as a location identity for ordering and delivery to validate and verify COVID-19 vaccine orders. Communicare sites may use an existing Encounter Place AIR provider number if they have one. If you do not usually use this function in Communicare (you may use individual provider numbers for your immunisation workflow) and do not have an ‘organisation AIR Provider Number’, Services Australia will have informed you as to how to apply for one. Services Australia indicated that they have established a fast track application process to support ACCHOs who require an organisation AIR Provider Number. Sections 5.4 and 5.5 referred to in the Communicare Immunisations and the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) document (available above) will assist you in amending your system parameters to enter this encounter place AIR provider number if required.
The below workflows have been provided to support those participating in the COVID-19 vaccination program:
Contact details for Services Australia – AIR:
Phone: 1800 653 809 for AIR general enquiries Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm local time
Phone: 1300 650 039 for AIR Internet helpdesk Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm local time
Fax: 08 9254 4810
Australian Immunisation Register for Health Professionals Website