The HIMSS Immunization Integration Program (IIP) is ramping up efforts to initiate an IIP Collaborative in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA). Several immunization-related activities are coming together in response to the IIP identifying the need for a systematic approach to address challenges with immunization data sharing systems and processes.
The IIP began as a nationwide effort, funded by the CDC, to advance the inclusion of enhanced immunization capabilities in EHRs and improve the exchange of data between EHRs and IISs. Improving the amount and quality of data in EHRs and IISs will help ensure clinicians and public health entities have the data needed for optimal decision-making.
We’ve been working on this project for several years and market suppliers are seeing increasing success with their products meeting the requirements—giving providers clarity about which patients have been vaccinated, those who still need to be vaccinated, and where the stockpile of vaccines may be stored. We’re excited that six market supplier products were recognized as meeting the requirements and more are on the way.
Another asset to the program is that we are recognized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as a partner organization for the immunization- testing component of the certification program.
The IIP completed ONC review and is now recognized as an alternate approach for f1 testing of the immunization component. Our eight workflows simulate immunization data review and submission in the clinical setting, and together advance interoperability of the data between care settings and immunization registries. The detailed information IIP-recognized products provide can help improve care quality and reduce the burden of managing immunization requirements.
Immunization reporting and stockpile tracking are not always smooth transactions. Providers, market suppliers and immunization professionals can all identify the technical and governance issues that keep information from flowing seamlessly between care settings and to public health officials. Providers in some locations have complained about continuously reporting information to registries, but never receiving information back. Similarly, immunization registries and market suppliers are frustrated with the lack of uniformity on interface requirements that create extra cost and resource burdens.
However, there is great advancement for immunization management under the IIP. The CDC, HIMSS and AIRA together are initiating the IIP Collaborative with the objective of setting an actionable path to eliminate barriers to true information gathering and sharing between the many stakeholders. The IIP Collaborative is designed to be a multi-stakeholder initiative to identify and make recommendations on how to standardize approaches across systems, states and communities. We expect to take action on topics like standard approaches to managing acknowledgment messages, verifying active and inactive patient lists, and reconciling duplicate information or incomplete immunization administration; areas of great concern for the provider, market supplier and immunization registry communities alike.
It’s time to take action. Providers and market suppliers we need you to join together to participate in the IIP and build immunization-related capabilities into your products.
We need all stakeholders to get involved in the IIP Collaborative and crowdsource the recommendations and solutions to truly improve the flow of actionable immunization data, so providers, patients, caregivers and immunization specialists can realize the benefits of timely and accurate immunization information. If we know who has been vaccinated, who needs to be vaccinated and where the stockpile is located, we can reduce administrative and medical burden and truly improve the immunization experience.
Interested in learning about how you can help? Email us at IIPhelp@himss.org.
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.