HHS awards vaccination info sharing funds

Keith A. Reynolds

The nearly $20 million in CARES Act funds will be used to expand information sharing between health information exchanges and immunization information systems.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded funds aimed at expanding information sharing between health information exchanges and immunization information systems.

According to a news release, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technologies (ONC) will disburse the nearly $20 million in CARES Act funds to support the nation’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccination effort by helping communities sharing information related to vaccinations. These collaborations will allow public health agencies can get additional help in finding and identifying patients in need of vaccination.

“These CARES Act funds will allow clinicians to better access information about their patients from their community immunization registries by using the resources of their local health information exchanges,” Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, says in the release. “Through these collaborative efforts public health agencies and clinicians will be better equipped to more effectively administer immunizations to at-risk patients, understand adverse events, and better track long-term health outcomes as more Americans are vaccinated.”

The department’s investments will provide chances to track vaccination progress, help clinics contact high-risk patients, and identify patients due to receive their second dose. It will also provide ways to measure vaccine outcomes, the release says.

ONC will also award funds to funds to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, to support immunization related health information exchange collaborations, according to the release.