Background: New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Bureau of Immunization annually requests immunization survey data from over 15,000 schools. Until recently the data was collected by means of a labor intensive and time consuming mail process. This manual method is being supplanted by a secure web based system known as the Online School Assessment Survey System (OSAS) developed by the Bureau of Immunization
Objectives: The objective of OSAS is to quickly, accurately and securely collect immunization data on children and/or students from all day care agencies, nursery schools, public and non public schools and colleges, thereby enhancing the capability to monitor compliance with immunization requirements. An added benefit is that the system allows the bureau and other state agencies to quickly and effectively communicate with the schools.
Methods: OSAS operates through the NYSDOH Health Provider Network (HPN) which allows schools to complete a survey form online, receive NYSDOH health alerts and to access the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) registry of student immunization data.
Results: OSAS began in 2006 with an initial recruitment of 126 schools. For the 2009-10 school year 4,624 schools, including all public schools whose total enrollment of 3,131,834 students represents 85% of all students in the state, submitted immunization data on line. Recruitment of schools continues with the anticipation that over 9,000 schools will be affiliated with OSAS by 2012.
Conclusions: OSAS has proven vital to the collection of student immunization data, to the gathering of data related to the H1N1 flu and to the collection of body mass index (BMI) data on children and students. BMI is a leading indicator of obesity. The OSAS system, evaluated on a cost saving basis, enabled the Bureau of Immunization to realize a net savings of over $21,000.
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