Preparing Student-Patients For The New School Year

July 12th, 2017 - By Matt Garnese

The leisure time of summer is filled with fun family activities, and it’s also a unique opportunity to engage with your patients regarding the necessary immunizations and medical documentation they will need before returning to school. Schools for K-12, colleges, and universities will resume classes sometime from mid-to-late August to early September. It’s important to remember that students, as well as teachers and childcare workers, must have all their immunizations.

Whether you work in a family practice, pediatric or occupational medicine, a highly interoperable Electronic Health Records (EHR) software program that can help to proactively maintain immunizations and records that are up-to-date is greatly appreciated by parents and employers alike.

Health Information Exchanges and EHR Technology

Vaccination databases and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) connect different EHR technologies to facilitate easy access to vaccines and treatment. Both the patient and provider realize many benefits of connecting EHRs and HIEs, such as cost savings, reduced duplicate data entry and fewer shots distributed. HIEs provide patients with access to health care services that share continuity across primary care, hospitals specialists, pharmacy and lab services.
EHRs that have interoperability can transfer information as well as access process it. PrognoCIS is already integrated with many state HIEs to help you acquire all relevant vaccination information about your patients to determine the best course of action when administering vaccines.

Which Vaccines Are Required For Students?

As an example of these vaccination requirements, 48 states require children to be vaccinated for varicella virus, and many universities require students who live on-campus to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis. Additionally, the following are the vaccines recommended for children and teens, according to the National Institute of Health:

  • Tdap: This is recommended for preteens (11-12), as well as any teens (13-18) who haven’t gotten this shot yet.
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4): The first dose is recommended at age 11 or 12 followed by a booster (2nd shot) at age 16-18.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: HPV vaccine is given in three doses over a 6-month period to boys and girls starting at 11-12 years old.
  • Influenza: Protects against different strains of seasonal influenza. An annual dose is recommended for everyone.
  • Varicella: Varicella vaccine protects nearly anyone who receives it from ever catching the virus. Due to the virus’s high communicability, children who catch it must be removed school or daycare for a week or more until the blisters completely heal.
  • Hepatitis B: Required for children entering school/daycare in 45 states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all children receive their first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine at birth and complete the vaccine series by age 6–18 months.

Due to their close proximity to children and teens, varicella vaccination is especially important for teachers and childcare workers because they work in an environment where transmission of the virus is likely. As requirements do vary from state to state, it’s important to know what vaccinations are required in your location.

PrognoCIS Patient Portal And Immunizations

To assist in your efforts to serve your community, PrognoCIS EHR provides a variety of useful tools to help you and your patients (or parent/guardians of patients) keep on top of their immunization requirements. The PrognoCIS Patient Portal provides a page for immunizations that enables the patient to upload their vaccination schedule and keep up with it. The doctor can easily find in the vaccination status for their patients, whether they are overdue, up-to-date, or are scheduled for vaccination. At the close of a patient encounter, the physician can schedule follow-ups with alerts to the front desk to contact patients regarding any pending immunizations.

Enjoy your summertime activities, and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your student and employee communities with immunization tools provided by PrognoCIS EHR.

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