Physician access to vaccine records linked to higher immunization rates

New research shows the exchange of immunization data between a centralized city immunization registry and provider electronic health records can boost pediatric immunization coverage, reduce over-immunization for adolescents and improve immunization record completeness.

The research was conducted by four major players in New York City's healthcare sector — Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Citywide Immunization Registry.

The authors of the study examined the percent of children who were up-to-date for their age-appropriate immunizations and compared that to children who received extra, unnecessary immunizations before and after the implementation of a two-way data exchange at the point of care. Ultimately, the study revealed up-to-date vaccination rates increased from 75 percent to 82 percent and were significant for all age groups.

The improvement in vaccination rates may be partly due to the fact that the data exchange and immunization registry gave clinicians better access to patient immunization information.

"Our findings demonstrated that data exchange can improve child and adolescent immunization status, allowing scarce resources to be targeted to those who are truly under-immunized," said Melissa Stockwell, MD. "It is important to promote further development of the technology to support bidirectional immunization exchange as well as continued focus on local, state, and federal policies to support such exchanges."



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