UpShot Online 2008 Quarter 2 – Page 3

Immunization Branch

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The UpShot Online - Current Issue



ImmTrac, A Growing Registry

By Ishah Coleman, ImmTrac

The latest figures reveal more than 5.5 million children participate in ImmTrac, the Texas immunization registry. The striking statistic indicates parents, schools and health care providers recognize the benefits of ImmTrac. In recent years, the state’s free and secure immunization

immtrac graph registry offered by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has also seen a significant increase in the number of immunizations recorded, active online registered user sites and the average number of immunization histories generated monthly from ImmTrac.

When offered the opportunity to “grant” or “deny” consent for ImmTrac during the birth registration process, more than 94 percent of parents consent to having their child participate in the registry. This is an indication that parents understand the value of participating in a single state registry that consolidates and securely stores a child’s immunization history.  Birthing facilities that offer parents the opportunity to “grant” or “deny” consent during the birth registration process is not yet at 100 percent. However, health-care providers are still likely to find a large number of their patients’ immunization records in the registry.

In recent years, the total number of vaccine doses recorded in ImmTrac has more than doubled.  This growth can be attributed to the over 4,300 registered, active, online user sites participating in the Registry, including a 33 percent increase in sites during 2007.  Active, online user sites are defined as provider sites that regularly access the ImmTrac application to search for client records, update a client’s immunization history or generate immunization histories.

ImmTrac-generated immunization histories are recognized as official copies of a child’s immunization history.  Official copies of immunization histories are often required for school and child-care registration.  School nurses and providers increasingly rely on ImmTrac for their student and patient immunization records.  Immunization histories generated by ImmTrac users online increased more than 80 percent in 2007 with similar growth during 2005 and 2006. 

immtrac graph

Health-care providers are required by law to report to ImmTrac all immunizations administered to children younger than 18 years of age.  Reporting immunizations entails populating the clients’ immunization records with the newly administered vaccines. 
DSHS offers providers two methods for reporting immunizations:  direct reporting into the online, user-friendly ImmTrac application, and via electronic import from an electronic medical record (EMR) system or other electronic file. 

While growth in Immtrac has been dramatic in recent years, new legislation will contribute to continued growth and expansion of the registry.  The ImmTrac Group is preparing to implement new legislation that will allow the registry to include immunization histories for first responders, including peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, as well as immediate family members of first responders.  The legislation also designates ImmTrac as the reporting and tracking system for immunizations, antivirals, and medications administered during, or in preparation for, a disaster in the state of Texas.   Such changes will transform ImmTrac into a more versatile registry for the benefit of all Texans.  Full implementation of this legislation is expected by early fall 2008.

immtrac graph






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Warning: Back issues are kept for historical purposes only and may contain information that is outdated or no longer valid. For current information on any subject included in past issues of the UpShot Online, please contact the Department of State Health Services Immunization Branch 800-252-9152.

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Last updated December 21, 2010