KIDSNET about Confidentiality

The KIDSNET data system is a program of the Rhode Island Department of Health and is used to ensure that all children in Rhode Island receive appropriate preventive healthcare services.

Although KIDSNET data is public health information, it is only available to authorized professionals on a “need to know” basis. That means that professionals who are granted access to KIDSNET can only use it to get information needed for treating or coordinating children’s care.

What We Do

  • Confidentiality Agreements from Authorized Users. Before getting access to KIDSNET, authorized users must sign statements of confidentiality that are in line with the Access to Public Records. Each authorized practice or authorized agency must also sign a KIDSNET User Agreement with the Department of Health that says they will follow the Confidentiality of Health Care Information Act and recognize that any use of this information for purposes other than those specifically stated in the KIDSNET User Agreement is a violation of the law and subject to penalties.
  • Compliance with the Privacy Rule. KIDSNET complies with HIPAA. The Privacy Rule allows healthcare professionals to share protected health information with a public health authority (such as the Department of Health) for “preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.”
  • System monitoring. KIDSNET looks at daily reports to monitor activity by all authorized users.
  • Parental Notification. KIDSNET notifies parents and guardians that their child’s information is in KIDSNET. Individual parental consent to include children’s data is not required.
  • Access to Parents and Guardians. KIDSNET makes sure that each child’s information is accessible to parents or legal guardians. Providers, who participate in KIDSNET, will produce printed copies of data for parents and guardians upon request at no charge.

What Parents Can Do

Parents have the right to “block” their child’s information in KIDSNET. This can be accomplished in one of the following ways:

  • “Total” Block: The child’s entire record is blocked from view and can only be seen by KIDSNET
    staff at the Department of Health.
  • “Limited” Block: The child’s information related to enrollment in WIC or Early Intervention (EI) is blocked from view and can only be seen by the Department of Health staff.

Please note that if you request a “total” or “limited” block:

  • You can restore the information (get rid of the block) at any time by calling the HEALTH Information Line at 1-401-222-5690.
  • Your child’s information will not be included in any reports that KIDSNET sends to doctors to remind them of possible need of immunizations, lead screenings, or other services.
  • Your child’s doctor will continue to send immunization information to KIDSNET.

If you are a parent or guardian and are interested in knowing more about restricting access to your child’s information in KIDSNET, follow these steps:

  • Contact the HEALTH Information Line at 1-401-222-5960, weekdays from 8:30am to 4:00pm, and talk to one of the KIDSNET representatives for additional information.
  • If you are still interested in restricting access to your child’s information, you will need to complete a form. The Help Desk staff will send the form to the child’s doctor or to a KIDSNET affiliated office.
  • The parent/guardian will then go to that office and sign the form with a staff member serving as a witness.
  • The office will mail the form back to the Department of Health.
  • KIDSNET staff will make the appropriate changes to the child’s record, blocking access as requested.