States Beginning to Give Parents Access to Immunization Records | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

States Beginning to Give Parents Access to Immunization Records

August 28, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Several states are now piloting approaches where parents get direct access to their children’s’ immunization records as part of the Blue Button Initiative, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced in an August 26 blog post.

In October 2013, ONC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a project in five states that connects a secure and convenient web-based portal to immunization data that can be made available to both healthcare providers and consumers (or in many cases, parents).

“Each state has an immunization information system that records all vaccinations that are administered by participating providers,” Simone Myrie of ONC wrote in the blog. “Giving patients or caregivers online access to immunization records, through tools like portals, will reduce the need to schedule office visits to get official copies of immunization records each time they are needed. And, with these portals, providers and parents or guardians are able to use decision support tools to remind them when immunizations are due.”

A variety of different healthcare providers and practices in the five states— Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Washington and West Virginia—took part in the pilot projects. To participate in the pilot program, the states, providers and practices had to develop ways to encourage patients to register for access to the portal.

One such practice is Latouche Pediatrics in Anchorage, Alaska, which operates three offices where more than 4,000 immunizations are administered each month, according to Chad Jensen, the practice manager. Families can log-in to LaTouche’s patient portal, view and print copies of their immunization records along with other valuable health information, Jensen explains. Patients can also use their smart phones to log into the portal, type in a facsimile number and have the immunization information sent directly to a school nurse.

The pilot programs will run through April 2016 and ONC says it will continue to support the programs and monitor their progress, offering suggestions for how to work through challenges and evaluate long-term success—all with an eye to the benefits to the patients and their parents.

Topics

News

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.

Humana Develops Medication Management Tool

A new tool developed by Humana enables the company’s members to keep a list of their medications in one place.

Four Hospitals Piloting OurNotes Initiative in 2018

Beginning in January, four academic hospitals—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Washington in Seattle, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and University of Colorado in Boulder—will begin piloting a new digital tool called OurNotes that enables patients to contribute to their clinical notes.