CHICAGO (March 7, 2018) – Each year, two to three million lives are saved globally by vaccinations, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, immunizations have led to better health outcomes, higher clinician productivity, and reduced medical costs. Acknowledging the benefits of tracking immunization data through health information technology (IT) systems, the HIMSS Immunization Integration Program (IIP), a voluntary testing program, recognizes the first set of electronic health record products that have fulfilled the testing requirements and program guidelines for immunization-related capabilities.
These products, which together represent more than 25% of the EHR market, include:
- Cerner products, Cerner FirstNet® and PowerChart®
- Electronic Services Technologies’ product, The Physicans – Practitioners Office Assistant
- Glenwood Systems’ product, GlaceEMR
- HealthCareXchange, LLC’s product, TheVaccinator
- Qvera’s product, Qvera Interface Engine
The HIMSS Immunization Integration Program
Introduced more than four years ago through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) contract with Chickasaw Nation Industries, the HIMSS Immunization Integration Program was developed to advance the integration of immunization-related capabilities within EHRs and other clinical software. The Program accomplishes this goal by:
- Facilitating agreement on priority immunization-related capabilities that align with clinical workflows;
- Enabling software developers to voluntarily test and achieve recognition of their products; and
- Providing guidance to improve usability of immunization-related software functions.
In October 2017, the HIMSS Immunization Integration Program earned approval from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as an alternative testing method for the Health IT Certification Program.
Goals of the HIMSS Immunization Integration Program
Integrating immunization-related software capabilities based on workflow and usability principles within EHRs and other clinical software can lead to improved clinical and patient decision-making by providing more timely access to immunization data and supporting enhancing information sharing between EHRs and immunization registries. The IIP aims to achieve these goals by identifying priority immunization-related software capabilities and both testing and recognizing software products that contain these important capabilities.
“Our ultimate goal is to support clinicians in their role in improving public health by helping them improve clinical work flow and patient care as it relates to immunizations,” said Warren Williams, branch chief, Immunization Information Systems Support Branch, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.
“By improving EHR and IIS integration, clinical workflow, and usability, IIP will help ensure that clinicians administer the vaccines their patients need when they need them and that complete vaccination records are available within their local IIS. We believe that the widespread adoption of immunization-related capabilities across EHRs will not only support better care, but also result in better health,” added Williams.
“The HIMSS Immunization Integration Program brings together organizations focused on a common goal of educating the healthcare community on the benefits of health IT in expanding immunization awareness. We have accomplished this goal by building on our organizational strengths to share best practices on the use of EHRs and other clinical software to increase and improve the effectiveness of interventions leading to improved immunization rates. The IIP is one example of successful collaboration that can be replicated for future healthcare needs,” said Joyce Sensmeier, vice president, informatics, HIMSS North America. “All of us involved in the IIP congratulate these forward-thinking companies for testing their products that are being recognized as part of this program.”
“Recognition of the first set of health IT products under the Immunization Integration Program is an important milestone for this project,” said Ann Speyer, senior executive vice president, Chickasaw Nation Industries, “with the support of the CDC, over the last four years we have been able to move from concept to a fully operational, independent program to support the important public health goal of improved immunization rates, through the use of technology.”
Quotes from the five organizations whose products have passed the HIMSS IIP Testing Method
“The IIP will add value to the entire industry and hold ourselves accountable for improving immunization integration in the EHR, setting an example to the industry for HIT validation,” said Casey Sansale, director and solution executive, Physician Strategy, Cerner.
“Cerner is proud to have participated in this public health initiative to put patients and providers first through improving immunization practices, data sharing, access to historical records and forecasts, and optimal clinical workflows.”
“There are several reasons the HIMSS IIP testing method has proven beneficial to our company, especially the insight afforded our development team in understanding the immunization clinical workflow, and industry credibility that is bestowed to the small software development company that passes the HIMSS IIP testing procedures,” said Joe Williams, president, Electronic Services Technologies LLC.
“Glenwood quickly recognized the significance of the IIP testing method as a means to help improve immunization care for patients. Integrating immunization features in our EHR software aligns with our one of our main goals – removing the administrative burdens for healthcare providers so they can focus their time on patient care,” said Samuel Raj, technical director, Glenwood Systems.
“Having successfully completed the HIMSS IIP testing program assures our customers that they have the capabilities to maintain being among the best in the industry,” said Ed Salvador, Jr., president, HealthCareXchange, LLC.
"Qvera is excited to be a part of this important HIMSS Immunization Integration Program that has been brought forward by the CDC and NCIRD. The goals of the IIP align well with Qvera's mission to enable healthcare information exchange reliably and seamlessly to all healthcare providers and organizations. The IIP brings consistency and predictability to the exchange of immunization information, which empowers healthcare professionals with the information they need to effect positive outcomes in each of their patients," said Ron Shapiro, vice president and chief technology officer, Qvera.
Joyce Lofstrom/HIMSS (312) 915-9237 – firstname.lastname@example.org
HIMSS18 Press Room: 1-702-691-8754 (through March 9, noon, PST)