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Today New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey signed the Statewide Immunization Registry Act which positions New Jersey as a national leader in the effort to increase the number of children vaccinated against preventable diseases. Through an electronic registry of childhood immunization records, parents and childhood healthcare providers will be able to use the information to insure that children receive vaccinations on schedule.
Immunization is one of the most effective of all public health interventions, enabling us to save lives from preventable childhood diseases and greatly reduce illness and disability, said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, MD.
By linking all physician offices, insurance companies, hospitals, school nurses, and public and private health agencies in an Internet-based immunization network, the state will be able to increase the number of children who are immunized.
As each new infant is born in a New Jersey hospital, a unique electronic record will be created in the registry that will assist parents and healthcare providers in tracking each childs immunizations and ensuring that they are protected in the early months and years of their lives when they are most vulnerable.
The registry also helps healthcare providers by generating reminders, posting recalls and tracing children who move from one physician to another.
The New Jersey Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Family Medicine, the Medical Society of New Jersey and statewide nursing organizations have supported this effort.
We are adding 10,000 patients a month to the system, said Commissioner Lacy. Since its inception two years ago, 778,000 children, who have received 4.9 million doses of vaccine, have been added to the registry. To date 252 providers have been trained and are now using the electronic registry.
The governors signature authorizes the database as a vital statistics registry and enables the state Department of Health and Senior Services to access the records of private insurance companies to add their patients immunization history. In addition, the health care community, school nurses and others involved in community health activities will be able to benefit from the electronic registry. Patient records on the registry will be accessible only to authorized users for limited purposes.
Source: New Jersey Department of Health