News

State's immunization records hit “Bulls-Eye”
Easier reporting, more access to vaccination records
Adapted from NPHIC News, National Public Health Information Coalition
Colorado has cut by two-thirds the time it takes vaccine providers to connect their electronic health record systems to the state’s immunization registry. 

To the lay person that might not seem like a big deal. But by making it faster and easier to report immunizations to the registry, Colorado is making sure its residents are getting the shots they need when they need them. 

“When these systems are talking, it helps health care providers determine which vaccines patients need,” said Heather Roth, program manager for the Colorado Immunization Information System at the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.

For its efforts, Colorado was recognized this year with a “Bulls-Eye Award” from the Association of Immunization Managers. The award recognizes state, territorial or local immunization programs for innovative strategies that “hit their mark,” achieve goals and increase awareness. Three winners are announced each year. For 2016, Colorado shared the award with Michigan and New York City. They were chosen over eight other nominees.

The registry, officially named the Colorado Immunization Information System, is a secure, web-based system that consolidates immunization records for Coloradans of all ages. More than 1,100 immunization providers, such as local public health agencies, private doctor’s offices, pharmacies, health plans, community and rural health centers, and school-based health centers, currently feed information into the system.
Since reporting is voluntary, it hasn’t always been easy getting providers to sign up. But in 2011, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid created an incentive program to encourage providers and hospitals to  use electronic health record systems, and that put a strain on public health immunization program databases. ... more