Cook Children’s Health Care System and athenahealth Announce Nation’s First 2D Barcode System for Vaccines

-- FDA Approved Barcoding System to Enhance Care Coordination and Patient Safety --

FORT WORTH, Texas & WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- PedsPal, Cook Children’s Health Care System’s physician group’s purchasing program, has collaborated with athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), Microsoft, Sanofi Pasteur, and Merck, as well as its physician members, to establish the nation’s first use of 2D barcodes on vaccines. Cook Children’s will demonstrate the new 2D barcoding technology at the upcoming American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference being held from October 15-18th in Boston, Massachusetts.

The new barcode label from Cook Children's Health Care System and athenahealth (Photo: Business Wire ...

The new barcode label from Cook Children's Health Care System and athenahealth (Photo: Business Wire)

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a guidance that allows an exemption to the existing requirement to use linear (i.e., 1D) barcodes on vaccines. As a result, physicians across America who use athenaClinicals®, athenahealth’s electronic health record (EHR) service platform, will soon be able to simply scan a vaccine’s barcode and have that information automatically incorporated into a patient’s EHR. This new capability will grant a host of new physician capabilities that Cook Children’s has been developing with athenahealth through its EHR since February of 2010, including:

  • Better managing a practice’s vaccine supply—lowering their costs
  • Confirming that the vaccine about to be given is for the right child, in the right dose, and at the right time
  • Sending notice of the vaccine dose to the state’s vaccine registry automatically
  • Creating a reorder to replace the administered vaccine

“Cook Children’s is pleased to help achieve this groundbreaking milestone in the care of children,” said Jason Terk, M.D., pediatrician with the Cook Children's Physician Network and Medical Director of PedsPal. “This new barcode system not only allows us to enhance our level of care, but also sets the standard for the entire nation. As health care providers, it’s important for us not to follow, but to take the lead, in using technology. We will be able, like never before, to meet the parents’ needs in an efficient manner and in a way that fits their lifestyle.”

This unique collaborative effort will provide parents and guardians with the ability to use their smartphones to scan vaccines administered to their children directly into their personal health record stored in their Microsoft HealthVault account, assuring that they have a complete record of immunizations received, which can be accessible to the family from any Internet connection when they need it. Microsoft HealthVault is a trusted place for people to organize, store, and share health information online.

Jonathan Bush, athenahealth’s CEO and Chairman, said, “Let’s face it, asking a parent to remember the last time their college-age child got a tetanus shot is unreliable, and the odds that their current doctor in San Francisco is aware that this shot was administered in Boston 20 years ago are slim at best. In health care, the ability to not only more effectively track vaccines but to build this data into an EHR platform that can follow the patient is an absolute game-changer, and we are confident that the forward thinking of Cook Children’s to again utilize the power of our cloud-based clinical network is going to lead to an invaluable level of improved patient safety.”

Peter Neupert, Corporate Vice President, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft, said, “Applications such as this one for vaccine management will help people to understand the importance of connecting information throughout the health system and making it promptly accessible to the people who need it, whether doctors, medical inventory managers, or parents caring for their children. We’re excited to work with Cook Children’s and athenahealth to deliver solutions to help improve care and empower families to manage their health.”

About Cook Children's Health Care System

Cook Children's Health Care System is a not-for-profit, nationally recognized pediatric health care organization comprised of seven entities - a Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Health Plan, Indemnity Company and Health Foundation. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the integrated system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout north Texas. Its service region includes Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties, with an additional referral area encompassing nearly half the state. Cook Children's traces its roots back to 1918, but throughout its continual change and robust growth, it still embraces an inspiring promise - to improve the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. To live up to this promise, Cook Children's combines the art of caring with the use of leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child, every day. For more information, please visit

About athenahealth

athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based business services for physician practices. athenahealth's service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, integrated back-office service operations, automated and live patient communication services, and the coordination of care among participants in the health care system. For more information, please visit or call (888) 652-8200.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the benefits and the timing of implementation of new barcode technologies. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to uncertainties, which may be beyond the Company’s control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by the Company, see the disclosures contained in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available on the Investors section of the Company’s website at and on the SEC's website at

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Cook Children’s Health Care System
Wini King, 682-885-4107
Director of Media Relations
[email protected]
athenahealth, Inc.
John Hallock (Media), 617-402-1428
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]
Jennifer Heizer (Investors), 617-402-1322
Director, Investor Relations
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Massachusetts  Texas

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Data Management  Internet  Software  Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Pharmaceutical  Mobile/Wireless  Medical Supplies  General Health


The new barcode label from Cook Children's Health Care System and athenahealth (Photo: Business Wire)