Agile development of the Danish Vaccination Register – Web app and seamless integration

Statens Serum Institut

Trifork A/S has developed The Danish Vaccination Register (DDV) for the SSI (Statens Serum Institut).

During the project period, the customer needed a partial delivery within a few months. The team of developers was able to meet the challenge using Agile.

General overview

Today, it is statutory to register information about vaccinations. However, without a central register, the general overview has been insufficient for citizens as well as for doctors. Thus, it has become the rule rather than the exception to administer extra anti-tetanus serum to citizens in the emergency ward, “just to be on the safe side”, or perhaps a Hepatitis vaccine is not renewed in time. If a citizen loses his vaccination certificate, it is a massive, if not impossible task to recreate it without a central register. For doctors, the effective assessment of immunization programs becomes insecure. Therefore, the central administration, via the SSI, initiated a large IT project, The Danish Vaccination Register.

The original objective was an effective assessment of the HPV vaccine (Uterine cancer), which was to become a constituent part of the children’s ́ immunization program.

Tight schedule

The project was supposed to take two years. However, the threat of an influenza pandemic created an urgent need for a registration tool. Following a dialogue with the SSI, Trifork delivered a tightly adjusted edition of the application for operational use within one month.

The Agile method of development enabled Trifork and the customer to quickly fine-tune the project scope to meet new demands. Fast iteration and interchangeability with the customer enabled speedy delivery of an operational product with short notice. The finished version of the vaccination register is now being used in a number of practices. Today, the system contains a web application with a user platform and a web based service to enable integration with other systems. As part of the project, smart framing has been developed as a supplementary integration concept.

Excellent systemic integration

Smart framing enables an embedded reading of the web user platform in the Danish Vaccination Register within the system of a general practice. Login is transparent for the user, (single sign-on) and the integration of the systems are established as a division of information between the web application and the general practice system. This concept was tested during the trial period, and proved itself to be both robust and efficient. Several other healthcare IT projects have shown an interest in applying Smart framing as a model of systemic integration.

Furthermore, the Danish Vaccination Register integrates with the health insurance register and the prescription server and received data from these sources from the beginning. The Danish Vaccination Register supports the workflows for healthcare professionals in connection with vaccinations and provides both healthcare personnel as well as citizens with a better general overview of administered vaccinations. The application supports doctors in professional decision making such as: suggestions of dosage and information on interaction.

Agile process a success

Søren Jakobsen (SSI project manager) was assigned to the project. It was not an easy task to enter into, but Søren Jakobsen felt comfortable with Trifork’s Agile approach to the developing process.

“The Trifork developers have unique domain knowledge of the healthcare sector. As a customer, I am not into the technological details, but I have not felt excluded at any time. The sprint meetings every three weeks gave me the opportunity to follow even the small details, and Trifork ́s people have managed to build a linguistic bridge, enabling us to discuss technical topics with no problems”, Søren Jakobsen explains.

As part of the project, the customer has learned agile skills, which in part match the level of the developers. Søren Jakobsen, for instance, has become a certified Scrum Product Owner. “It is decisive for project success, that you understand your role as Project Owner. If you do not, the entire process can run astray from the beginning. It is important to understand the background of things to appreciate the Product Owner role. I am very content with the fact, that I have been upgraded in the process”, says Søren Jakobsen. 

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The Trifork developers have unique domain knowledge of the healthcare sector. As a customer, I am not into the technological details, but I have not felt excluded at any time. The sprint meetings every three weeks gave me the opportunity to follow even the small details, and Trifork's people have managed to build a linguistic bridge, enabling us to discuss technical topics with no problems”, Søren Jakobsen explains.

Website: Danish Vaccination Register

Read more: Trifork blog

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