Strengthening children’s immunization in Europe through health data standards: Connecting Patient summaries to EU vaccination cards and immunization registries.
Twenty European experts met in Brussels earlier this week for a two day meeting to propose how best to improve the availability of up to date immunisation information on children when they are seen by a health or care professional. This information may be vital in emergency situations, to determine the level of immunity of a child who has been exposed to an infection risk, such as tetanus or meningitis. It can also be useful for the care professional to advise a child or parent if the child is due for a vaccine or booster or has fallen behind schedule. It also fits within the context of both the EU and WHO seeking to drive higher child immunisation uptake, and effective holistic child health care.
Medical and public health experts in child health, including representatives from the WHO, met with representatives from several national immunisation programmes, experts in electronic health records and international health informatics standards, and representatives of the European Commission, to examine the data flows that would be needed to enable care professionals to be informed of immunisation status when they attend a child, the feasibility of harmonising the core information at a European level, the data protection and ethical issues that would need to be catered for, how better supply of immunisation status could facilitate improved uptake, and what practical steps might be recommended for action in the near future. The outcomes of this meeting and a suggested plan of action will be explored in more depth at an event hosted by the WHO in November 21-22, 2018, in Copenhagen.
The meeting was hosted by CEN TC251 in Brussels and was organized in the context of the collaboration of TrilliumII (DG CONNECT -www.trillium2.eu ) with the MOCHA project which explores the primary care policies for Children in 30 countries (DG Research – http://www.childhealthservicemodels.eu/ ).