'Panorama' vaccine-tracker has major gaps in information
More than a dozen full-time staff at Toronto Public Health are chasing thousands of patient records after it was discovered a province-wide vaccination-tracking system has major gaps in information, CTV News has learned.
Called the "Panorama," the $165-million computer system was expected to be rolled out by 2011. The system, however, hasn't been fully implemented and kinks in the network are still being worked out.
Among the problems is a network-syncing issue.
Dr. Vinita Dubey says Panorama's computer network is supposed to be linked to those in medical centres and pharmacies. The networks, however, are not yet speaking to each other and as a result, public health workers have to enter patient vaccination information manually.
"Right now, we're relying on manual data entry for the immunization record," Dubey said. "But it should be input from the moment you get the vaccine from your doctor's office."
Another issue is the duplication of files. CTV Toronto has learned there are 36,000 duplicate files in the system for patients aged 18 to 25 years old. An additional 6,000 records belonging to patients 17 years and younger have also been flagged.
The problem files have created more work for Toronto Public Health. The agency has assigned 17 full-time staff members to chase down the records and mail out hundreds of letters each day, asking parents to update their children's information.
According to NDP Health Critic France Gelinas, these gaps in information would leave the general population at risk if an outbreak should occur.
"It only does part of what we want it to do," Gelinas said. "The heavy lifting, the work that needs to be done so we have a strong and robust data has been left to the staff of the health unit to do."
With a report from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss