Immunization Records for Healthy People

By Ed Simcox, HHS Chief Technology Officer,  HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer
Twitter: @HHSCTOOffice

As a parent, I know how important it is to have access to my daughters’ immunization records. Recently, I had the very common experience of needing immunization records for their schools. In the past I had to call the pediatrician’s office to get the records mailed to me. The whole process to call, get the accurate records, and wait to receive them took more time than I would have liked. Then I learned about Indiana’s consumer access portal, called MyVaxIndiana. This year I was able to access my children’s records directly from MyVaxIndiana. It was a seamless process that saved me time. I want all Americans to have this experience.

Beyond States and Across the Country
My office has helped roll out online immunization portals in other states. To enable consumer access, the project team is piloting My Immunization Record (MyIR), where individuals can access their immunization records instantly online.

Since the project began in 2013, over 140,000 accounts have been registered and 58,000 families have gained access to their immunization records in the pilot states of Washington, Arizona, Louisiana, and West Virginia. And the best part is that people are actually doing something with their records. Through surveys we learned that 39% of those that accessed MyIR have taken action (contacted their doctor to verify; scheduled an appointment) and another 25% said they were planning to talk to their doctor. We aren’t stopping here. We are working to integrate these state systems with third party apps like Docket.

Looking Forward
As we move toward Healthy People 2030, an initiative to establish 10 year science-based goals to improve the health of Americans, there are new advantages we can harness related to immunization. We have new partners and new data and that helps us access hard-to-reach populations and target immunization like never before.

With all of the work we are doing around immunization innovation, I think it’s safe to say that in a few years when my daughters are in college and need access to their own immunization records, they will be able to easily access them, no matter in what state they reside. Technology that enables consumer access to immunization records is not just on the horizon, it’s already here. We need to make sure that all Americans have the option to use it.

This article was originally published on HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer blog and is republished here with permission.