Monday, November 24, 2008


Last week we got our confirmation letter of de-enrollment from the Utah Statewide Immunization Information System (USIIS).

Ths USIIS is basically a huge database storing all the immunization records for Utah's children. Schools, doctors, and health plans can access it for information. The idea behind it is to prevent children from being over-vaccinated (because that's costly) and so that schools can have easy access to know if a student's vaccinated.

Earlier this year, I emailed the USIIS. I wanted to know if I could access Margaret's records. The response I got back was this:

"At this time the only way for an individual to obtain their immunization record or their children's immunization records from USIIS is to submit a paper form request."

Hmm. It didn't seem right to me that any doctor/school/etc in the state with access to the USIIS can go online, put in a password and see my child's records. I, however, as a parent must "submit a paper form request." Disparities? Yes. It shouldn't be more difficult for a parent to access their child's information than a random doctor who happens to have access.

So we removed her from the system. They were kind enough to let me know that my name is on a list of people who've removed their kids from the system. It's comforting to know that if they decided to get McCarthyist about parents who don't want the government accessing their child's information, I'd be on the list. :)


  1. Interesting! I hadn't heard of it, but it makes sense that such a database exists. I'm wondering -- did you (or are you going to) "notify [your] health care providers and health plan that [you] have elected to withdraw"? If you don't, does that mean that they will continue to report the info (not that they'll have anything to report, but theoretically), and will nullify the withdrawal? That phrase in the withdrawal form struck me as odd... why should I notify them, if this form simply makes them unable to access my child's info??

  2. Ugh. Yet another reason we are seriously considering leaving this country.

  3. My practice did not join the Florida On-line Shots System. My patients shot record (or lack of) do not go in the system. It stays on paper in my office.

  4. Are you having Margaret immunized?

  5. I think the reason for the paper report is to preserve confidentiality. Health care professionals who need to have access to all sorts of records get a general vetting to be sure they're not criminals or whatever and then get a password. But if you could get access to your child's records just by ringing up and saying "Hi, I'm Margaret's mum - can you give me access?" then how would you stop a complete stranger from doing the same thing and prying into records of your child's that were none of their business?

  6. Well, I was figuring that if the doctors and schools have an online log in and password for access, they could give parents a login and password for access of their child's records. Sure it'll probably be a little more work for the webmaster, but it would allow parents the same access and confidentiality.


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