DHS Immunization Program Update: School Immunization Compliance Process Changes
Monday, July 18, 2016
School Immunization Compliance Process Changes
The Immunization Program is making some changes to the process by which compliance with the Wisconsin Student Immunization Law is assessed and reported to DPH. The Immunization Program has been working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to improve this process in order to provide more clear and concise directions to schools, to improve the efficiency of the reporting process, and to gain a fuller picture of the immunization rates among students.
Below are descriptions of these changes. The materials, including last year’s compliance rates, are now available on our school requirements website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/reqs.htm
- The School Booklet will be online only. Starting school year 2016-2017, the Wisconsin School Immunization Requirements booklet will be online only. The booklet will no longer be mailed to schools or local health departments (LHDs). However, the information will be mailed to schools with no email address on file with DPI (approximately 50 schools). Together with DPI we are notifying schools of this change by email and by mail. School nurses have already been notified by email (see below). In early August, schools will be mailed a postcard that describes the changes and provides the link to the website where the materials can be found.
- We are in stage 1 of improving the School Report to LHD. Please see the email at the end of this update that was sent to school nurses that describes how this report will be changed and the rationale for the changes. For school year 2016-2017, the report has been updated. In Section A, schools now need to include their DPI LEA (district) and school codes. Instructions for finding these codes are found on the report. The compliance definitions (meets minimum requirements, in process, etc.) have not changed, but can now be found on the back of the form. In Section B, there are now 2 columns (5K kindergarten and all students) rather than 4 columns of data collected. In Section C, there is a new row 9 that collects the number of students who have received no required immunizations and have waivers for all of these vaccines. Infinite Campus, Skyward, PowerSchool, RECIN and WIR have been notified of these changes. This report is now online and available here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forms/f0/f04002.pdf
- More clear and concise directions for schools. The timeline has been updated to provide concise directions and links to resources. The timeline includes a link to the public school district’s or private school’s compliance rate from the previous year to help the district/school determine whether it needs to exclude students this year. A flowchart has been added to assist schools in understanding the required actions they must take and to help schools correctly classify students in each compliance category (meets minimum requirements, in process, etc.). These documents will be posted to our website in the coming weeks.
- Other documents were changed slightly to accommodate laboratory evidence of immunity. The legal notice, notice of exclusion, and immunization requirements documents have all been updated slightly to include that laboratory evidence of immunity (for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella) is an acceptable alternative to vaccination for these diseases.
- LHDs will no longer need to transcribe results. The Immunization Program will provide the local health departments with lists of schools in your jurisdiction. You will be asked to check off the school and record the date when you received each school’s School Report to LHD. Then, you will bundle them all and mail them to the Immunization Program. More directions will be provided to LHDs in the future.
Save the Date! A webinar describing these changes will be held on August 25th at 2 pm. The primary audience will be school personnel, but local health departments are encouraged and welcome to join too. Click here to join the webinar: https://livestream.com/accounts/14059632/events/5766391
If you have questions, please contact Ruth Koepke at Ruth.Koepke@wisconsin.gov. Thank you.
Note: The following message was recently sent to school nurses via email:
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health (DPH), is encouraging all Wisconsin schools and school districts to review their student immunization records and to take note of upcoming changes to the reporting process for the Wisconsin Student Immunization Law. The law itself has not changed, but changes in the reporting process are being made in order to provide clearer and more concise instructions to schools and in order to gain a fuller picture of student immunization rates in Wisconsin.
During the 2016-2017 school year we will be taking the first step by changing the look of the School Report to Local Health Department (F-04002), with more detailed and concise instructions. In addition, the school booklet will no longer be printed and mailed to you. Instead, the school booklet materials, including the School Report to Local Health Department, the timeline of required actions for school, the legal notices, and all educational materials will be available on the DPH website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/reqs.htm.
This year and every year, we ask that schools review all student waivers for accuracy. Student immunization records can be checked in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to determine if the student has received the vaccine and the waiver status is no longer necessary.
In the future, the School Report to Local Health Department will change to collect the number of students who are in each compliance category (Meets Minimum Requirements, In Process, Behind Schedule, No Record, Health Waiver, Religious Waiver, Personal Conviction Waiver) by each vaccine type (DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Tdap). This change will allow DPH to accurately assess the percentage of students who are vaccinated against each disease and which vaccines have been waived. When an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease occurs in a school, DPH will know the extent to which the students in that school are protected from the disease. Having this information available is very important in order to quickly and appropriately control an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in a school. DPH and the Department of Public Instruction are working with student information system vendors, the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, and RECIN (Registry for Effectively Communicating Immunization Needs) to develop the reports schools and school districts will need to complete this new School Report to Local Health Department.