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Rollout of central patient immunization database begins in Canada

Public health officials in Canada have confirmed that they are working on a major new data collection system aimed at better processing and storing the vaccination information of tens of thousands of patients.

Due to be rolled out in stages between 2010 and 2012, the Panorama national electronic system will work towards ensuring that individual records from various small and local health authorities are effectively brought into a single, national database.

Dr Jeff Kwong, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, explained in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that the system will "collect, analyse and diseminate public health surveillance data for the management of infectious diseases".

Specifically, it will include a national immunization registry geared towards being used by officials in national public health emergencies and vaccination drives.

However, the journal also reports that the team behind the new database still have to cope with "potential barriers to collecting electronic data", such as ensuring high levels of data security and data quality.

At the same time in the UK, the Conservative Party has unveiled plans to introduce a new Integrated Care Records Service, or an 'NHS Spine' for patient data.
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