Saturday, July 03, 2021

Improved ACT Health COVID-19 Vaccination Booking System

To make an online booking at ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinics, clients are required to use the MyDHR system. Previously when I tried to register I found the process confusing and was not able to register. When I tried today, I found the process had improved and I was able to register, but it appears it is still not possible to use this system to book a vaccination online. This differs from private vaccinations clinics, where the patient is shown dates and times they can select from, online, as soon as they are registered in the system. 

Medicare Number Format

A problem still exists with the way the patient has to enter the Medicare number on the ACT Government system. This differs from the format used by Federal Government and private providers. It will only be a problem the first time the patient registers with the system. For someone who will regularly attend a clinic for medical treatments, that is not a major problem. But for an emergency vaccination campaign, where each patient will attend only two or three times, difficulties in initially registering are more significant. 


The ACT Government page on vaccinations has a link for patients to register. However, that link doesn't take the patient to the registration screen, but to the login screen. The patient is then asked for their user ID and password they have not yet been issued with, which is confusing. There is a link for registering, but patients are may be confused at this point and never see the link.

MyDHR One Time Security Code,
ACT Health, 3 July 2021
Once the link is found, registering is not too complex. The patient is asked to enter a code sent by email or SMS. This is described as a "one time security code". If this process only applies during signup it is not clear how this authenticates the person, as neither the email address or telephone number have been separately authenticated (unless perhaps this information is obtained from Medicare). 

Secure Username?

MyDHR Choose User name,
ACT Health, 3 July 2021
After entering the security code (which arrived promptly by SMS), I was asked to create a user name. Confusingly, the instructions were to "think of one that is secure and easy to remember". It is not clear why the user name has to be "secure", as there is a separate password to be entered. The instruction to make the user name secure contradicts the one to have it easy to remember. Also the indication that this username
can never be changed would add to the stress for the patient. Also it is a flaw in the security of the system to have a code which must be secure and cannot be regularly changed.

MyDHR Main Screen

MyDHR Main Screen,
ACT Health, 3 July 2021

After choosing a username and password, I was presented with a reasonably easy to read main screen. However, the first item listed was not booking a COVID-19 Vaccination, but checking eligibility. I suggest this be changed, s the purpose of the exercise is to book a vaccination

MyDHR Vaccine Eligibility,
ACT Health, 3 July 2021
After answering a short list of questions about eligibility, I expected to be told I was eligible. However, instead the message was that if I was eligible, I would be contacted withing 24 hours to let me know when an appointment was available.  This is not a good systems design, as first of all the patient has to wait 24 hours, for no good reason. Secondly, a patient who hears nothing doesn't know if they have been placed in a lower priority category, or missed the message. Thirdly, it is not clear to the patient how they actually book a vaccination.

No Medical Records on System

The ACT Government system is intended to provide a comprehensive system for patients of ACT Health, not just vaccinations. So I looked to see what records were recorded. There was not record of my ever being a patient, although I had spent a night in the ICU and received numerous tests. It may be my treatment was too long ago to be worth loading into the new system, but patients will not feel reassured about receiving further treatment, if there is no record of their previous treatment.

Confusing Email

After registering, I received an email with the subject line "Please check your MyDHR account". However, the body of the message said "... you have new information in MyChart.". But what is MyChart? There was no signature block to indicate this message was from the ACT Government, and no contact details to reassure the patient this was a genuine message and help the patient seek further information (the message had a "no reply" address). 

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