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Reminder: important change to Alberta’s Immunization Regulation

November 25, 2020
New reporting requirements take effect January 1, 2021.

Starting January 1, 2021, Alberta’s Immunization Regulation will require health practitioners to report immunizations and related assessments electronically to Alberta Health.

What does this mean?

For any vaccine, excluding publicly funded influenza, dTap in pregnancy, and pneumococcal for those aged 65 and over, pharmacists will be responsible for the documentation of that event in the electronic health recordPublicly funded influenza, dTap in pregnancy, and pneumococcal for those aged 65 and over are excluded from this process because these events are automatically uploaded to the electronic health record through the Alberta Blue Cross claims data that pharmacists submit.

How do I meet the regulations?

Pharmacy software vendors are working to automate this process but, despite best efforts, vendor systems will not be set up when part 1 and part 2 of the Immunization Regulation come into force on January 1, 2021. In the meantime, Alberta Health has created an online web portal that pharmacists must use to record vaccination events directly in the electronic health record. To access this web portal, called the Immunization Direct Submission Mechanism (IDSM), pharmacists must first register with Alberta Health before January 1, 2021.

What will I need to record using the IDSM?

Pharmacists must ensure vaccine administration for the following are recorded:

  • privately purchased and administered vaccines, including any private purchase vaccines not able to be claimed as part of a public program (e.g., High Dose Fluzone, Flumist, employer-paid workplace immunization for flu, HPV, travel vaccines, etc.);
  • immunization assessments that do not result in an immunization being provided; and
  • any past unreported vaccination events you become aware of for the patient.

How do I register to access the IDSM?

Pharmacists can register to access the IDSM by following these instructions.

The IDSM is a web-based tool and will not integrate with any of the pharmacy systems you may currently use as part of your clinical practice. The IDSM is a stand-alone tool to help you comply with the regulation until your pharmacy vendor system can meet the regulatory requirements. 

How do I use the IDSM?

Detailed training videos and frequently asked questions about use of the IDSM can be viewed on the Alberta Netcare Learning Centre website.

Who do I contact with my questions?

Pharmacists with questions about how to complete registration can view the FAQ here, or contact:

eHealth Netcare Support Services Team
Toll Free: 1-855-643-8649