DPH: CIRTS - FAQs

CIRTS - FAQs

1.      What is CIRTS?

For Parents:

2.       What are the benefits of CIRTS for parents and children?

3.       Is my child enrolled?

4.       How can I enroll my child if he or she is not currently in CIRTS?

5.       Who has access to the information in CIRTS?

6.       How can I obtain my child’s immunization history?


For Pediatric Practices:

7.       Are practices that administer vaccines required to report to CIRTS?

8.       Will reporting to CIRTS violate HIPAA requirements?

9.       How are vaccination histories of patients reported to CIRTS?

10.     A new patient transferred into my office.  How can I obtain their immunization history?

11.     How is the immunization rate for our practice determined?

12.     I thought our practice’s immunization rate was a lot higher. What would contribute to a rate being lower than we expected?

13.     My office is extremely busy and short-staffed. Is there anyone I can call to assist with CIRTS
          reporting requirements?

14.     What are the benefits of CIRTS to our pediatric practice?

CIRTS Presentation – “How the New Web-Based Immunization Registry Can Help Your Practice”

15.     How can my practice sign up to get on-line with CIRTS?

16.     What is the cost of using CIRTS in my office?

17.     What will be required of our practice once we are on-line?

18.     CIRTS User Guide


Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting:

19.    How can my Electronic Health Record (EHR) report electronically to the state immunization registry and how is this related to Meaningful Use?
20.     My practice is attesting to Meaningful Use.  How can we meet the immunization registry
          reporting requirement?

HOW TO CONTACT US:

21.     Can’t find what you want on our website?  Contact Us:

Phone: (860) 509-7929   

Fax: (860) 509-8370

Email:  DPH.CIRTS@CT.GOV

Attn: CIRTS 

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Immunization Program

410 Capitol Avenue, MS #11MUN
Hartford, CT 06134

1.       What is CIRTS?

In 1994, the legislature authorized the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) to establish the Connecticut Immunization Registry and Tracking System (CIRTS). CIRTS is a free, statewide, immunization registry maintained at the CT DPH. The purpose of the registry is to assure that children remain up-to-date with their immunizations and that their records are available when needed - when changing doctors and at the time of daycare and school entry. After a pilot period of several years, CIRTS became a statewide registry in 1998.

In April 2012, CIRTS went into production with the NEW web-based immunization registry.  Currently CT DPH Immunization Program staff and local Immunization Action Plan (IAP) Coordinators are on-line. CT DPH plans to start rolling the registry out to pediatric and family providers at the end of 2012.

The registry will soon have the ability for providers to submit a patient electronic health record (EHR) to report immunization data electronically to the registry.  In late 2013, the CT DPH Immunization Program will work with a pilot site for EHR reporting. 

The registry includes such information as is necessary to accurately identify a child and to assess current immunization status. CIRTS can:

  • Keep permanent records of children’s immunizations (shots)
  • Let doctors keep track of their patients’ immunization histories in the registry  
  • Give parents their children’s immunization histories for daycare, school, and  camp
  • Provide parents with immunization histories in the future even if they move away from Connecticut or their baby’s doctor retires

All personal information including immunization status and dates of immunization of individuals shall be confidential as required by Connecticut law. Only the parent(s)/child’s legal guardian, child’s doctor, or health care workers who can assist with missed opportunities or missed immunizations have access to CIRTS.

Upon receiving a request from CIRTS, all healthcare providers administering immunizations to children in CT shall report those immunizations to CIRTS.

For Parents:

2.       What are the benefits of CIRTS for parents and children?

Research has shown that both parents and doctors overestimate the rates at which children are fully immunized. Parents are often unaware of immunization schedule recommendations and doctors often overlook 1-2 immunizations. This is becoming an increasing problem with the rapid changes in immunization recommendations for children.  CIRTS can:

  • Give providers easy access to a permanent record of your child’s shots even if you move away from Connecticut or your baby’s doctor retires.
  • Let a doctor find your child’s history in a computerized database if you forget the record or have difficulty obtaining it.
  • Give parents the official immunization records needed for daycare, school or camp.

3.       Is my child enrolled?

If your child was born in the state of Connecticut since January 1, 1998, he/she was enrolled at time of birth through birth certificate information. This form is provided to you at the time of your child’s birth. Or you may obtain this form from your baby’s doctor and return it to the Department of Public Health. Parents may elect not to have their children enrolled by sending a signed written request to opt out of CIRTS. Please include your child's full name and date of birth. By opting out, your child's shot record will no longer be available in CIRTS. Mail to:  CIRTS, 410 Capitol Avenue MS 11 MUN, Hartford, CT 06134 or Fax to:  860-509-8370.

If you are unsure if your child is in CIRTS, call us at (860) 509-7929. 

4.       How can I enroll my child if he or she is not currently in CIRTS?

Click here for an English CIRTS Enrollment form. 
Click here for a Spanish CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for an Albanian CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for an Arabic CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Chinese (Traditional) CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Creole CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a French CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Hindi CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Polish CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Portuguese CIRTS Enrollment form.
Click here for a Russian CIRTS Enrollment form.

Send the completed form to:

Mail: Department of Public Health, Immunization Program
410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 11MUN
Hartford, CT 06134
Attn: CIRTS 

Fax: (860) 509-8370

5.       Who has access to the information in CIRTS?

Connecticut state law requires that information in CIRTS be kept confidential. Only you, your doctor, or health care workers who can assist you with missed appointments or missed immunizations have access to CIRTS. The information will not be shared with any other people or any other agency,  unless you have signed a Release of Information. Please click here for the form in English-Spanish (pdf)

For more information on how school nurses can request records from CIRTS, please click here: Process for School Nurses to access CIRTS  (pdf)  CIRTS – School Nurse Presentation (pdf)

 

6.       How can I obtain my child’s immunization record?

By calling the State Immunization Program at the Department of Public Health at (860) 509-7929, with proper identification you can receive a free copy of your child’s immunization record.

For Pediatric Practices:

7.       Are practices that administer vaccines to children required to report to CIRTS?

Yes.  Connecticut State regulations states that all offices that administer vaccines to children must report them to the state registry. click here for regulations

Click here for the Agreement to Comply with CIRTS Regulations forms. 

8.       Will reporting to CIRTS violate HIPAA requirements?

No.  Physicians are authorized to disclose immunization histories to the CIRTS program and its authorized agents without patient authorization or opportunity to object because:

·        It is required by law.

·        It is part of public health activities.

The information that we request is what is minimally necessary to satisfy the objective of the state registry. Practices should however keep an accounting of each disclosure that is made to CIRTS.

Click here for more information regarding the impact of the HIPAA Privacy rule on public health.

9.       How are vaccination histories of patients reported to CIRTS?

Each month, CIRTS sends a “Compliancy” report to each pediatric practice asking for immunization histories on kids who have turned 7 and 19 months of age. These are two key times when immunization status should be reviewed.

Similarly, a 2-year-old clean up report, known as the “Goldenrod” report is also sent each year as a last effort to try to bring your 2-year-old population up-to-date with their immunizations.

In late 2012, we started giving pediatric practices on-line access to the new registry.  Providers will be able to enter the immunizations into the registry as they administer them or when they receive their monthly compliancy reports.

10.     A new patient transferred into my office.  How can I obtain their immunization history?

If you are a health care provider intending to administer vaccines to a child who needs to know a child's immunization history for purposes of determining whether additional doses of vaccine are needed, please call the State Immunization Program at 860-509-7929 with the following information:

o   child’s first name and last name

o   child’s date of birth

o   your facility’s name and town

o   your phone number and fax number

If you are a health care provider who needs to officially document a child's immunization status to meet state day care or school immunization entry requirements, please send a fax request to the State Immunization Program at 860-509-8370 with the following information:

o   child’s first name and last name

o   child’s date of birth

o   your facility’s name and town

o   your phone number and fax number

You may also mail a written request to the State Immunization Program at:

Attn: CIRTS

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Immunization Program
410 Capitol Ave., MS #11MUN
Hartford, CT 06134

Or, you may contact your local IAP Coordinator. 

IAP Coordinators, Outreach Staff Contacts, and IAP Area Map


The Official Immunization Record includes the child's immunization status as reported to the CIRTS program, including name and date of each vaccine dose given or permanently exempted, and name and birthdate of the child. Currently, the CIRTS program tracks children up to two years of age. Starting in late 2012, we will begin to bring providers online and we will be able to capture immunizations beyond age two.

Important Note:  These records from the immunization registry do not include booster doses.  Providers will need to add the booster doses to these records.

Click here to view an example of the official immunization record produced by CIRTS. (link to pdf)

11.     How is the immunization rate for our practice determined?

Immunization coverage reports are generated for all Connecticut practices based on a child’s immunization status on their 2nd birthday. Up-to-date coverage includes: 4 DTaP, 3 polio, 1 MMR, 3 hepatitis B, Hib given age appropriately, 1 Varicella or Varicella disease, and 4 PCV.

12.     I thought our practice’s immunization rate was a lot higher. What would contribute to a rate being lower than we expected?

  •  Sometimes children in your practice are up-to-date with their immunizations but were not up-to-date at the time they turned 2 years of age. CIRTS uses this age as a cut-off, as all children should be series complete by the time they turn 2 years of age. 
  • Some children are still late as their parents are requesting an alternate schedule or are refusing one or more vaccines
  • Invalid doses are another significant reason for a lower than expected rate. The most commonly administered invalid dose of vaccine is the Hep B #3 not given on or after 24 weeks of age
  •  Another reason can be attributed to lack of reminder and recall to the well-child visit. All too often it is found that the DTaP #4 was not given, suggesting that the older infant is not coming back to the office.

We can provide you with a more detailed explanation of your rates upon request. Call (860) 509-7929.

13.     My office is extremely busy and short-staffed. Is there anyone I can call to assist with CIRTS reporting requirements?

Immunization Action Plan Coordinators, or IAP’s, are people contracted through the State Health Department to raise immunization rates in target areas of the state that are at risk for being under-immunized. There are 12 IAP areas in the state of Connecticut. One of the ways IAP’s help to raise rates is to help the pediatric providers in their offices.  IAP’s can:

  • Identify children from monthly compliancy reports who are late with immunizations.H
  • Help to create reminder and recall systems for families that have not scheduled an appointment or have missed one.
  • Conduct outreach on hard-to-reach kids in need of immunizations (i.e. phone calls, post cards, home visits.)
  •  Identify the correct primary care provider when the office has not seen the child in their office.
  • Serve as a local resource for the latest information on immunization. They will provide you with regular updates on new recommendations, new vaccines, and changes in the law, etc. 

Click here for a list of IAP Coordinators in the state, Outreach Staff Contacts and for a Map of towns/cities served by IAP coordinators.


14.     What are the benefits of CIRTS to our pediatric practice?

Obtain immunization histories on patients who transfer to your practice from any other pediatric facility in the state.

Have easy access to the first hepatitis B shot given in the birth hospital.

View the child’s Immunization Summary and Forecast to see the earliest, recommended, overdue, and latest dates to administer that vaccine to that child.

Refer “late” kids to outreach services by our local IAP Coordinators.

To view the CIRTS Presentation – “How the New Web-Based Immunization Registry Can Help Your Practice”, click here (link to pdf)

15.     How can my practice sign up to get on-line with CIRTS?

Call CIRTS at (860) 509-7929

Click here for the  Statement of Confidentiality (pdf)

A username and password will be assigned to you and training will be scheduled.

16.     What is the cost of using CIRTS in my office?

The only cost associated with using CIRTS is the monthly fee of your Internet Service Provider (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, etc.)

NOTE: Please use Internet Explorer version 7.0 or greater the first time you login.

17.     What will be required of our practice once we are on-line?

Your practice will be required to enter immunizations that were given to your patients. Data entering your monthly “Compliancy” reports will take the place of pulling, copying, faxing and/or mailing the immunization records to CIRTS. Instead, you will only need to return the 7-month and 19-month sheets after you complete the data entry.

18.     For the  CIRTS User Guideclick here (link to pdf)


Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting

The Department of Public Health (DPH) Immunization Program is continuing its efforts to establish electronic reporting of immunizations data between provider electronic health record systems (EHRs) and the Connecticut Immunization Registry and Tracking System (CIRTS).


19.  How can my Electronic Health Record (EHR) report electronically to the state immunization registry and how is this related to Meaningful Use?


Public Health requirements (state mandated) are independent of “Meaningful Use” (MU) requirements, although there is overlap in content and standards.  Efforts to achieve CIRTS-provider electronic data exchange will benefit providers for both public health and MU efforts.  CIRTS is currently working toward accepting immunization data electronically from Electronic Health Records (EHRs).  For more information visit: Health Information Technology and Exchange to download the HL7 2.5.1 Guide to prepare your EHR to report to CIRTS.   


20. My practice is attesting to Meaningful Use.  How can we meet the immunization registry reporting requirement?


DPH is working on the capability to receive data electronically from an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system for immunization reporting. 

  • If you have already registered in the MUST Portal in 2015 and 2016 for attestation to Meaningful Use Stage 1, click here for the Meaningful Use State Testing (MUST) Portal to obtain your certificate.  Please email DPH.MUST@ct.gov with any questions about the MUST portal. 

  • If you have not previously registered with DPH using the MUST Portal in 2015 or 2016. EPs
    can satisfy the Registration option for Active Engagement for Program Year 2017 for immunization reporting by completion and submission of the
    CT DPH Immunization Registration Form.  Please retain any confirmation material from DPH to validate the measure for Modified Stage 2.

Please note that Stage 2 immunization reporting, per state regulations, will only be for primary health care providers administering immunizations in an outpatient setting for children from birth to first grade once CIRTS is ready to accept electronic reporting.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

21.     Can’t find what you want on our website?  Contact Us:

Phone: (860) 509-7929   

Fax: (860) 509-8370

Email:  DPH.CIRTS@CT.GOV

Attn: CIRTS 

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Immunization Program
410 Capitol Avenue, MS #11MUN
Hartford, CT 06134




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Content Last Modified on 10/19/2017 3:21:33 PM