BOX 6-4KIDSNET in Rhode Island

KIDSNET is an integrated information management and tracking system for newborn metabolic screening, newborn developmental risk assessment, newborn hearing loss, childhood blood lead screening, childhood immunizations, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children, early intervention, maternal and child health home visiting, vital statistics, and other preventive pediatric health initiatives. KIDSNET is primarily a tool to ensure timely delivery of preventive services to all Rhode Island families with children born after January 1, 1997. In addition, it serves as a resource and link to ensure coordinated access to community-based family support services for providers of childhood immunizations to these infants and toddlers.

A KIDSNET goal is to continue enrolling significant additional providers so that over 90 percent of KIDSNET records contain immunization information, the only data component of KIDSNET that cannot be supplied by existing program data systems and that requires reports from providers. The 150 primary care provider offices participating in the state health department’s Immunization Programs Universal Vaccine Purchasing and Distribution Program (which makes vaccine for children’s antigens available for free to all children receiving care in the state) are eligible to be KIDSNET providers. They are equipped, trained, and supported by health department staff to use KIDSNET and are then able to get practice-based rates and reports on how well they are screening for lead poisoning, immunizing, and related goals.

In addition to supporting primary care providers in their efforts to provide a “medical home” for their patients, KIDSNET has had the secondary function of supporting public-private partnership efforts to ensure the completeness of childhood lead screening to an entire population, regardless of their type of insurance. This collaborative quality improvement strategy has been recognized by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a model effort. Driving population-based quality improvement activities using shared data will soon test the completeness and accuracy of the immunization data in KIDSNET.

A third use of KIDSNET is system performance evaluation. Under the state health department’s authority as the Title V agency for Rhode Island, indicators of a medical home are being developed to reflect the values of continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordinated care. Using linked data at the individual child level, these indicators will be used by a multidisciplinary team to develop quality improvement activities that will attempt to ensure a medical home for all preschool children in Rhode Island.

From: 6, Developing State and Local Data Systems

Cover of Children’s Health, The Nation’s Wealth
Children’s Health, The Nation’s Wealth: Assessing and Improving Child Health.
National Research Council (US); Institute of Medicine (US).
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.
Copyright © 2004, National Academy of Sciences.

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