Rhode Island's KIDSNET, one of the first health information systems to integrate data from multiple public health programs, wanted its registry to meet the needs of Rhode Island's private providers; its success depended on it, since nearly 100 percent of immunizations in the state are given by private sector providers.
When the system was planned, most providers had DOS-based systems, so the registry was developed to meet the technical abilities of the greatest numbers of users. But computer technology changed rapidly in the late 1990s, and soon KIDSNET found the DOS-based system was outmoded for most providers.
The lesson: When developing an immunization registry or other information system, employ state-of the-art technology.
Recognizing the need for a new technology solution that would meet providers' needs, KIDSNET staff simultaneously planned for a Web-enabled system and developed a method for providers to report immunizations using bar-code technology.