Posted By Hope Alfaro On July 13, 2017
With the advancement of healthcare technology and electronic health records (EHR) through the Meaningful Use mandates, connectivity and information sharing has become increasingly available as healthcare turns to preventative care and care coordination. In fact, all immunizations given are required by all medical clinics to be recorded in the state immunization registry. If you are a local health department (LHD) or community health center (CHC) that sees a lot of patients for immunizations, you are likely already using an Immunization Registry.
An Immunization Registry or Immunization Information System is a confidential, population-based, computerized information system that attempts to collect vaccination data about all persons within a geographic area. Information can be shared one way or bidirectional, meaning you can both upload immunization information and download it from the Registry.
An EHR electronically connected to the state immunizat6ion registry can save you a lot of effort and time. Additionally, an EHR which has built-in vaccine tracking, inventory management capabilities, and barcode scanning of vaccines can dramatically improve your agencies efficiency. There are many benefits to syncing to your state’s Immunization Registry through your EHR (if the state registry allows this connection). It provides timely access to complete and relevant immunization data for use by patients, schools, or other healthcare providers. It can keep track of childhood immunizations to make certain children receive a full set, even if they change doctors or schools. A registry also can provide population health information for an area to see the number of immunizations and track outbreaks that might be related to a drop in immunizations for any given reason.
Getting connected to your state’s Immunization Registry should start with a call to your EHR vendor. Remember, not all EHRs are made the same so not all vendors are able or willing to connect to your specific Immunization Registry. Connection will require that your EHR supports HL7 connections, like you would for a Health Information Exchange (HIE) connection. Based on what your state registry supports, your EHR can include a one way connection or a Bi-directional Interface.
The more connected you are through your EHR, the better information you have to treat your patients and the more money, time, and headache you can save chasing down correct information from patients and outside providers. Ask about connecting to your state Immunization Registry today!