Background: Electronic data submission to Immunization Information Systems (IIS) can improve the timeliness and accuracy of immunization histories. A 2008 survey attempted for the first time to assess end-users’ experiences with the Philadelphia’s KIDS Registry, a web-based repository of childhood (0-18 years) immunizations reported by healthcare providers.
Objectives: Survey goals included determining perceived barriers and enablers to electronic data submission for manual (nonelectronic) reporters, and identifying perceived benefits and problems with e-reporting for e-reporters.
Methods: 323 pediatric immunization provider offices were asked to complete the survey, which was distributed via e-mail, fax, and mail.
Results: Of the 143 responding sites, 34% report vaccinations electronically. E-reporters are typically larger practices whose billing company handles their reporting, while manual reporters are more likely to be smaller, see an older pediatric population, and to have a clinician primarily responsible for reporting. Providers perceived that electronic reporting makes data more accurate and complete (73%), saves staff time (63%), and improves vaccination rates (37%). The most frequently cited reasons for not reporting electronically may be addressed through provider education: not knowing it was an option, not knowing how to extract data from current systems, and generating too much work for staff. Many manual reporters (69%) felt assistance was essential to move to electronic reporting, although a number were already planning changes that would ease the transition: acquiring internet connectivity (22%), or acquiring/changing billing software (21%).
Conclusions: Most providers still report immunizations manually, but many indicated a willingness to transition to e-reporting with assistance. Lessons learned will be used to develop approaches to help manual providers convert to e-reporting within their technological capabilities and to enhance e-reporters’ reporting experiences. Improving electronic data sharing through KIDS facilitates age-appropriate immunization practices, bridging gaps in healthcare for Philadelphia’s children.