COVID-19 Updates: Taking steps to return to normal.
After a decade of collaborative work, First Nations’ immunization records are now fully integrated into Alberta’s electronic health records system regardless whether the immunizations were administered on or off reserve. This will provide health-care professionals with accurate and timely immunization history to follow up on scheduling routine immunizations for children as well as immunization for adults, and in turn protect families from vaccine-preventable serious illness and save lives.
Siksika Nation, Stoney First Nations, Maskwacis and Bigstone Cree Nation were the first to successfully share the records with Alberta Health about a decade ago. The work to integrate the immunization information from every First Nation is now complete.
“I’m pleased to mark this milestone together with First Nations leaders, and I thank all our partners for their dedicated work over the years, which made it possible to fulfil this commitment to support the health of First Nations members. First Nations community members’ immunization records are now conveniently accessible, which will make it easier for parents and guardians to plan for timely routine vaccination for children starting at two months of age and older. First Nations families can now make decisions based on reliable health records.”
“This real-time data integration is a first in Canada, and shows what can be done when all partners come together to improve our systems and services for individuals accessing health care. Indigenous Services Canada is pleased to support this project and the work being done in First Nations communities to reduce the rates of communicable diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases. First Nations in Alberta have been successfully integrating vaccine registry programs with the province’s, allowing for timely access to immunization records by all appropriate health providers in Alberta.”
“Siksika Health Services was the first partner and original adopter of the real-time integration of immunization records with provincial records. From the start, we envisioned the tremendous benefit this would have for our Nation. We are pleased to contribute to the program’s ongoing evolution, and witness the expanded reach and scope of real-time integration for all Alberta First Nations. For Siksika, the program has enhanced efficiency of immunization coverage, timing and followup. It is critical to harness opportunities to protect our First Nations people through integrated protection of our medical records.”
“We are thrilled to have been involved in this effort that is already supporting improved immunization programs for the children in our community. The nurses in First Nations communities have been asking for systems that talk to each other for years and now we have it.”
“We are pleased to be one of the First Nations to have taken this major step towards reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases together with our public health partners. We are hopeful this integrated system will help prevent delayed and missed immunizations and improve staff efficiency.”
“We know that First Nations children experience higher rates of vaccine-preventable disease resulting in more severe outcomes and deaths compared to the Canadian average, and we are hoping having a more efficient system will help bring change.”
“This partnership and initiative has been years in the making and an important step towards supporting children’s health and reducing vaccine-preventable disease in First Nations communities. As a leader in Indigenous health and technology fields, OKAKI is honoured to be part of celebrating this achievement and we look forward to continuing to support this important initiative in partnerships with First Nations and Alberta’s government.”
As part of this integration, First Nation members can get Alberta’s COVID-19 QR code vaccine record for travel through alberta.ca/CovidRecords.
First Nation members 14 years and older can also access their routine immunization records by signing up to Alberta’s MyHealth Records.