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12 23Fri08012014

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Back Local News Tracking of medical records supported

Tracking of medical records supported

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DEPARTMENT of Public Health and Social Services Director James Gillan said during yesterday’s public hearing that his agency is in full support of Bill 98, which ensures the tracking of immunization records from birth to adulthood.

The bill also helps facilitate DPHSS mandates to ensure mandatory and up-to-date vaccinations.

During the public hearing, Gillan said they are in favor of the bill since the current system does not provide an accurate count of who has or hasn’t been immunized.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., also provides for the coordinated submission of related statistical data for the compilation and reporting of DPHSS’ Office of Vital Statistics.

The data, according to the bill, will be maintained in a “single islandwide repository of immunization records, which will be known as the 'Guam Immunization Information System.'”

“With this bill, it specifically provides an opt-out where they would specifically say no, we don’t want our information into the system. The current system causes problems for us because we cannot give you an accurate count of who is immunized and who isn’t,” Gillan said.

The bill allows the implementation of an opt-out system where records may be used for input into the Guam Immunization Information System without the signed consent of the patient or the patient’s parent or guardian.

Abortion records

On the maintenance of abortion records, Gillan said the requirement is an unfunded mandate and there are not enough staffers at the Office of Vital Statistics to handle this requirement.

The new bill also transfers the compilation and reporting of data of partial birth abortions or abortions from the Guam Memorial Hospital to the Office of Vital Statistics. The report will be transmitted to DPHSS by the patient’s attending physician and shall be confidential, with the name of the patient omitted. As set in current law, the Office of Vital Statistics shall collate and evaluate data gathered and annually publish a statistical report based on such data.

“Right now, we only have three people, three permanent people in the Vital Statistics Office and one program coordinator who is part-time,” Gillan said.

Meanwhile, Office of Vital Statistics registrar Carolyn Garrido said the current staff does not have the medical training to collate and decipher the medical terms for abortions.

Garrido said she believes the reporting should stay at Guam Memorial Hospital, who has staff with medical training to handle these types of data.

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