Liberating Immunization Data: How Indiana Is Empowering Individuals to Actively Engage in Their Own Health Care
Peter Banks | August 10, 2012
On July 23, Indiana announced the statewide rollout of MyVaxIndiana , a web-based program that allows individuals to access their immunization records. ONC’s Deputy National Coordinator for Policy and Programs Judy Murphy and the State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin attended the event as well as other representatives from the provider and patient community.
Access to Immunization Records
MyVaxIndiana’s successful implementation has been driven by its simple and secure approach to accessing information. This approach has been recognized by a wide spectrum of stakeholders who will benefit from gaining access to their immunization records including:
- Parents: Parents will be able to easily obtain their child’s immunization information before sending them off to camp or to the first day of school.
- Patients: Patients can access their immunization records when needed for travel or before going off to college.
- Providers: Providers will see a reduction in the number of requests for immunization histories and can avoid giving duplicate immunizations due to a greater access to patients’ immunization records.
The concept for this innovative approach and aggressive timeline was established during the State HIE Consumer Innovation Challenge meeting in Chicago, when representatives from Indiana’s state-designated entity for enabling statewide health information exchange, Indiana Health Information Technology Inc , and the Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program , came together to create a plan of action. Within months, Indiana had introduced a live pilot program that included local health departments, hospitals, private medical facilities, and a public primary school. Building on that pilot program, Indiana made MyVaxIndiana available statewide and saw an incredible 126 unique records accessed electronically on the first day.
Empowering Individuals to Access Their Immunization Records
MyVaxIndiana is designed to empower individuals to actively engage in their own health and health care by giving them access to their immunization records in a simple and secure manner. To access immunization information through the MyVaxIndiana Internet portal, an individual needs to:
- Visit their physician’s office and request a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- Go to MyVaxIndiana’s homepage and enter their first and last name, email address, date of birth, and PIN. This information will provide a “vaccine view screen” that provides an individual with patient demographic information, vaccine history, and a recommended vaccination schedule based on CDC guidelines
Once a vaccine record is accessed, the individual is able to print or fax an official record, download the record as a PDF file, or download the data into an electronic personal health record.
|I applaud Indiana for being a leader and innovator in providing patients with access to their immunization history. ONC is excited to be able to support this important initiative. As a mother and nurse, I realize the importance of having access to and tracking this information, and would encourage every state to consider a similar project.
-Judy Murphy, Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Individual Access to Immunization Registries Initiative
Currently, few state immunization registries provide consumers access to their records. ONC is determined to grow this number with the introduction of the Individual Access to Immunization Registries Initiative. By leveraging the work being done in states like Indiana, ONC is continuing to work with state-level stakeholders to implement innovative technologies that will provide consumers with access to their immunization records. Engaging individuals in their health and health care by providing them with access to their personal health information is a key tenet of ONC’s strategy for improving the quality and efficiency of the health care system.
Whether it’s the successful launch of a program like MyVaxIndiana or results of recent studies showing that consumer engagement is a top priority in the majority of established health information exchanges across the country, the demand by consumers for access to their health data is growing . ONC looks forward to encouraging and supporting this transformation in health care and will continue to raise awareness of the exciting progress that is being made all across the nation.
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For more information on health information technology, visit HealthIT.gov.