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Bridging the Divide: Office of CTO Works to Connect Immunization Data

Immunization Gateway provides doctors with more complete health record data, saving patients time and improving quality of care.

Bridge in mountains over greenery with cloudy sky

We all want the best for our family’s healthcare. Sometimes that means driving across state borders to access better medical care. Since many public health immunization information systems (IIS) are structured by jurisdiction, records inevitably contain data gaps. To bridge that divide, more robust data exchange between immunization systems is needed.

To ensure doctors have access to complete records, an Immunization Gateway hub was launched by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. In the first few weeks of operation, doctors saw over 1,000 immunization records that had previously not been accessible

This pilot took root in a data sharing program between Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services and Philadelphia's Department of Public Health. Many Philadelphia residents are born in Delaware hospital systems. Some records of immunizations given at birth did not previously make their way back to Philadelphia. By exchanging data via the Immunization Gateway, over 1,000 immunization records became visible to Philadelphia doctors. Together with existing records, this information paints a much more complete picture of immunization rates among the local population.

Scaling a similar system nationwide would benefit the 11% of Americans who move in a given year—saving patients time while improving quality of care. The Immunization Gateway is an important step toward that goal.

Click here for additional information on the goals and approach of the Immunization Gateway program.

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Health IT