Objective: To predict the true cost of developing and maintaining an electronic immunization registry, and to set the framework for developing future cost-effective and cost-benefit analysis.
Data sources/study setting: Primary data collected at three immunization registries located in California, accounting for 90 percent of all immunization records in registries in the state during the study period.
Study design: A parametric cost analysis compared registry development and maintenance expenditures to registry performance requirements.
Data collection/extraction methods: Data were collected at each registry through interviews, reviews of expenditure records, technical accomplishments development schedules, and immunization coverage rates.
Principal findings: The cost of building immunization registries is predictable and independent of the hardware/software combination employed. The effort requires four man-years of technical effort or approximately $250,000 in 1998 dollars. Costs for maintaining a registry were approximately $5,100 per end user per three-year period.
Conclusions: There is a predictable cost structure for both developing and maintaining immunization registries. The cost structure can be used as a framework for examining the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefits of registries. The greatest factor effecting improvement in coverage rates was ongoing, user-based administrative investment.