Simple data entry errors by GP practice staff may be compromising the integrity of Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, according to a recent audit performed by the Department of Human Services
Although generally well-managed, with Register data accuracy rates nudging 98 per cent, clerical errors could be putting families who choose to vaccinate their children, at risk of losing their childcare benefits, with late submission of one-quarter of all immunisation notifications .
Australian Doctor cites immunisations are deemed overdue if performed 63 days late.
The audit found errors and delays in the manual entry process. Common errors, such as the misspelling of a child’s name or false date of birth, could imply a vaccinated child is not recorded as being up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Another issue plaguing the system is when practice software that records immunisation data, is incompatible with the Department of Human Services’ IT system.
The audit advises GPs and parents to review immunisation statements, to ensure all data is submitted correctly, and that immunisation providers are reminded of the importance of collecting the most accurate data in payment summaries.