The KIDSNET Story: Sequel

Case Solution

Jonathan Schlefer, Marty Linsky
Harvard Kennedy School ()

This continuation accompanies case 1800.0. In January 1997, the Rhode Island Department of Health launched KIDSNET to harness the power of information technology and ensure that all of the state’s children receive appropriate care. The medical “informatics” system was developed to track vital health data, such as vaccinations, and make it available to health care providers and public health programs across the state. In other words, “informatics” should improve children’s health by ensuring that every doctor or emergency room in the state can quickly and easily update the most important aspects of a child’s medical history. The system should be fully operational by the year 2000. However, the connection between computer data and public health was not working well and, in late 1999, a consultant discovered that the system was “grossly underutilized”. KIDSNET tracked the vaccinations of only 43 percent of infants, and only 31 percent of clinics and doctors’ offices in Rhode Island submitted immunization records. House number HKS 1800.1

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