Database helps Indiana nurses keep track of vaccinations

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — New requirements regarding a statewide database are making the jobs of nurses easier in terms of keeping track of students who need vaccinations before the new school year begins in Indiana. The state’s Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program has been used in the past by state and county health departments. But its effectiveness was limited because only a handful of health care providers used the database.

A new state law went into effect last month requiring all of the state’s hospitals, medical offices and health departments to use the database for all vaccination records, the (Franklin) Daily Journal reported.

Nurses previously were responsible for ensuring students were up to date on vaccinations and contacting the parents of students who needed shots. Nursing departments would call, email or sent letters to parents about six months before the upcoming school year.

“Our goal is to work alongside our families to ensure that the students receive the immunizations they may need and minimize absences from school,” said Amanda Martin, health services coordinator for the Franklin Community Schools.

Beginning this year, nurses have extra help ensuring all students receive the vaccinations they need. Instead of relying on parents to remember what shots their child has or hasn’t received, school officials can now use the database to see what shots student need in order to meet state requirements for their grade, Greenwood schools nursing coordinator Libby Cruzan said.

In the past few years, it had become more challenging to make sure every child had the right shots since the state has updated and added to the list of requirements, said Lisa Brown, Johnson County Health Department director of nursing. No shots were added to the list this year, she said.

The state database keeps a record of all immunizations until a child turns 19. With the new requirements, medical offices must update their records within a week of giving a child a vaccine.

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Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net

 

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