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Four First Nations have health records digitized

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Stoney, Siksika, Kehewin and Frog Lake First Nations are moving from paper-based immunization records to a digital database. The Community Health and Immunization Program is a centralized, easy-to-track system for recording vaccinations electronically. It aims to become the first program in Alberta to seamlessly communicate with the provincial health registry, creating a complete record of a First Nation patient’s immunizations that is viewable in any clinic that also uses CHIP. The system was developed by OKAKI Health Intelligence as a service for First Nations communities, with start-up funding and technical support contributed by Cybera. With added sponsorship support from international healthcare company, Pfizer, more than 30,000 immunization records of children and adults have been digitally recorded across the the four First Nations. There are plans to add three more First Nations by March. “In Alberta, First Nations are the only communities that still have paper-based records,” said Dr. Salim Samanani, medical director for OKAKI in Canada, in a news release. “The provincial immunization registry maintained by Alberta Health and Wellness has no information on the vaccinations delivered on First Nations, so there is no way for health service providers or public health authorities to get a complete picture of the immunizations received (or not received) by First Nations residents. This has led to communities with higher rates of vaccine-preventable illnesses than in the rest of the province.”