Kansas Health Information Network transmits immunization data to state registry

Improves accuracy and timeliness, saves 'hundreds of hours of manual data entry.'

Kansas Health Information Network, the state's not-for-profit, provider-led health information exchange, has successfully transmitted data from the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to the Kansas Immunization Registry.

Known as KSWebIZ, the Web-based statewide registry is set up to consolidate immunization information for all Kansas residents, assure adequate immunization levels and avoid unnecessary immunizations. State officials say the project is being implemented in two phases: the first is a uni-directional interface that electronically sends immunizations from the healthcare facility to KSWebIZ; the second phase will allow providers to search the registry and retrieve immunization information for their patients.

“The goal of this project is to improve the accuracy of the immunization information in KSWebIZ," said Laura McCrary, executive director of KHIN, in a press statement. "This will ensure that Kansas healthcare providers have rapid and complete information regarding their patients’ immunization statuses."

The  chief objectives, she added, "are to eliminate missed opportunities to immunize and reduce unnecessary duplicate immunizations. An additional benefit is the reduction in administrative time that has been required to manually enter immunizations into KSWebIZ. Now immunization data from the clinic is electronically sent to WebIZ, improving the accuracy and timeliness of the data while saving hundreds of hours of manual data entry.”

“Federally qualified health centers provide care to the most medically vulnerable patients in our communities," said Krista Postai, CEO of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. "We provide over 15,000 immunizations annually in our six locations. This required many hours of data entry into KSWebIZ. Immunization information is electronically sent to KSWebIZ through KHIN, ensuring the information on our patients is accurate and up to date in the state registry.”

"This project will leverage current resources already in place, ensuring access to the data from authorized users, and will positively impact the physician, care provider and patient experience while continually improving quality and safety of care,” said Michael McPherson, interface Coordinator for KSWebIZ.

The transmission was performed via the CareAlign health information exchange platform  developed by Nashville, Tenn.-based ICA.

“KHIN continues to break barriers and show the way for other HIEs nationally,” said ICA CEO Gary Zegiestowsky. “This pilot is a critical first step in a broader statewide immunization data exchange that will add an important layer of information available to clinicians that is vital to improving overall health for the state of Kansas and helping to prevent immunizable epidemics, such as the current influenza outbreak."

[See also: Kansas HIE to hand over authority to the state]