The Northern Michigan University Health Center has been designated a Site of Excellence for using the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) to enhance the immunization process. MCIR was created in 1998 to collect reliable immunization information and make it accessible to authorized users online. Consolidating immunization records from multiple providers is designed to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases and over-vaccination, and allow providers to see patients’ up-to-date immunization histories.
Shown with the plaques presented by the Region 6 MCIR representative are (from left): Michele Premeau, nurse practitioner; Robin Aho, medical office manager; Dr. David Luoma, medical director; and RNs Adam Burri, Mary Torreano and Michelle Roth. (Not pictured are Kelly Healy, biller/coder; Karey LaJoye, secretary; and Courtney Pirhonen, student office assistant).
The Health Center has kept electronic records through MCIR for more than two years, said Aho: “When Dr. Luoma and I started here, there were paper records only. We changed that right away. It is important to use MCIR and have updated records, especially with the requirement that all incoming NMU students provide proof of having the measles vaccine and the U.P. Health System immunization requirements for NMU students getting their clinical experiences.”
Luoma has served on the board of the Michigan Advisory Committee on Immunizations and advises the state surgeon general and community health department on immunization policy.
“We now pull the record on every patient who comes in,” he said. “We look at it as an opportunity to get people the vaccines they need, add them to the MCIR registry if they’re not listed, update their electronic records on the spot and give them a printed copy to take with them if they want it. All of this has significantly improved the rate of immunizations.”