Our collective of youth, families and providers has taken a population health approach to the needs of children and youth. We have mobilized specialized child and youth health organizations and providers as well as health care generalist providers. We have also included many entities whose work is fundamental to the well-being of children (including public health, housing, child welfare, social care and education – to name just a few). Many of these are venues for the delivery of care and all are significant contributors to the social determinants of health. This coalition of individuals and organizations understands that a population health approach is the glue that should hold together individual health care transactions.
Our team’s initial key focus for Population Health will be Digital Immunization Surveillance. Canada has an immunization coverage rate of 84% which lags behind those of the United Kingdom (96%), United States (93%) and Australia (93%). This is an issue of both immunization uptake and documentation. Recognizing that immunizations are a key tool in keeping all kids healthy, through CANImmunize, parents, children and youth will be empowered to self-monitor immunization requirements and follow the timelines of required vaccines through the use of digital technology, where the information they need is at their fingertips, anywhere and at any time. Parents will have direct access to reminders so that they can ensure their children’s vaccinations are up to date. Recent outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles have highlighted the need for individuals to be aware of their vaccination status. By managing their own records, it ensures that immunizations administered by primary care, public health and pharmacists are all captured. For family physicians, community pediatricians, and other primary care providers, parental awareness of ISPA status ahead of suspension season will reduce their time spent retrieving records which can be redirected towards providing care rather than administrative tasks. Finally, with a direct channel for public health to reach parents/ caregivers, there will be additional opportunities for education and intervention.