DHEC launches SIMON to enhance South Carolina’s vaccine capabilities

South Carolina News

In this Friday, May 17, 2019 photo, a registered nurse and immunization outreach coordinator administers a vaccination. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – On Sunday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) launched a new immunization information system that will help ensure South Carolinians have access to essential vaccine.

The Statewide Immunization Online Network (SIMON) replaces the state’s previous immunization reporting system. It will provide an easy process for immunization providers to order and manage vaccines, DHEC says.

The new system will also allow DHEC the ability to assess and address immunization coverage rates across the state.

“South Carolina’s transition to SIMON is a monumental upgrade for our state’s immunizations program and the timing of this transition couldn’t be better,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, interim DHEC Public Health Director. “With COVID-19’s continued prevalence across our state, one of the few things we can do to protect ourselves from this deadly virus is stay as healthy as possible and avoid contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like mumps, measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. SIMON provides immunization providers access to an individual’s comprehensive immunization record.”

DHEC says the state has seen a reduction in routine pediatric vaccine orders since the pandemic began. SIMON can be used to help healthcare providers ensure more children and adults get their vaccines.

Below are a few key features of SIMON.

  • Patient reminders
  • Patient portal for clients obtaining their immunization record
  • Real-time vaccine inventory management for providers
  • Accurate vaccine forecasting for providers
  • Abundant reporting options such as geographic and statewide coverage rate assessments
  • Mass vaccination module to allow quick data entry of administered immunizations

“We are very excited to introduce SIMON to DHEC and the South Carolina immunization provider community,” said Stephen White, DHEC’s Director of Immunizations. “SIMON will place South Carolina in a much better position of utilizing an immunization information system, to aid in our state’s future decisions with targeting areas of low immunization coverage rates across the state.”

Support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation and Envision Technology Partners have been critical in the development of SIMON, DHEC says.

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