In the past year, Public Health started implementing and using an information technology system called Panorama. Over the years, many reports, including the Nova Scotia Auditor General’s review in 2016, have identified Nova Scotia’s lack of a provincial electronic immunization registry and a public health surveillance information system as a key risk. To address these gaps, Panorama is intended to improve the management of immunization programs, case investigations and outbreaks of notifiable communicable diseases across the province.
Panorama will enhance our capacity and capability to provide health alerts, and effective, efficient data and reports to public health officials and practitioners, also assisting public health professionals to better detect and respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases.
In February 2018, immunization teams moved to electronic processes at school clinics, removing reliance on paper-based manual processes. Panorama’s tracking ability will help us understand gaps in immunization coverage rates and make the school immunization program more efficient.
Planning and implementing each system module requires a team with members from Public Health, Information Management/Information Technology and Department of Health and Wellness to ensure success. The Investigation and Outbreak Management modules are expected to be in place by late 2018.