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November 2021 Monthly Update

 


Monthly Update

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November 2021 in Review

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Question of the Month: New Engagement Opportunity

AIRA is considering launching a Vaccine Management and Vaccines for Children program Community of Practice (CoP) based on the results of a needs assessment performed before the pandemic. We want to know if you would participate in this CoP and what topics you would like it to address. Will you give us your feedback?


 

Executive Director's Update

Greetings,

November was a big month for COVID-19 vaccines. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met in early November and voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 through 11 years. The committee met again in late November and voted to recommend a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults aged 18 years and older who received a primary mRNA vaccine series. All adults 18 years and older should receive a booster dose at least six months after completing their primary vaccine series. Recommendations for the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine remain the same.

 

The Moderna vaccine booster has been approved as a half-dose but is drawn from a vial that can be used for both primary and booster doses, which we recognize has significant impacts on IIS. AIRA has shared our concerns with the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the ACIP, and Moderna. This past month I had a thoughtful and engaging conversation with key individuals at Moderna to share the impacts and challenges of the one vial for both primary and booster doses and what impact it is having on IIS and other systems. It is worth noting that there are a host of manufacturing challenges, from a glass shortage to needing to produce vaccines as quickly as possible, and ultimately, we will be creating workarounds for the one vial for both primary and booster doses for some time. However, my hope is that our concerns were heard and will be addressed in the near future.

 

As more and more individuals need to replace their original immunization records, we recognize that our community is rolling out a host of consumer access options, some including the SMART Health Card. AIRA is in the process of evaluating the options jurisdictions are undertaking and we hope to report on this shortly. We’re reviewing the various capabilities used by jurisdictions to provide individual access to records and whether it includes the SMART Health Card QR code. We also recognize that this is a rapidly evolving topic, and we plan to periodically update the information to accurately reflect the changing landscape.

 

As we all know, interoperability between electronic health record systems and IIS plays a critical role in improving public health and health outcomes. Recently, the executive committee of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Immunization Integration Program identified its top priorities for 2022 to improve immunization interoperability, information sharing, and management. You can find more information, including the committee’s four initial areas of focus, in the article below.

 

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone and the end of the year is just around the corner. Public Health Thank You Day on November 22 was a nice way to kick off Thanksgiving week. AIRA is so grateful for you, the amazing public health workers in the IIS community, and for all the work you do. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your hard work and dedication.

 

Rebecca Coyle, MSEd

Executive Director


 
 
 


The Immunization Integration Program Selects 2022 Prioritized Collaborative Topics

The Immunization Integration Program (IIP) selected its top priorities for 2022 for improving immunization interoperability, data exchange, and management.

 

The IIP Executive Committee, co-chaired by David McCormick, director of the Immunization Division at the Indiana State Department of Health, and Stuart Weinberg, MD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, announced the selection of the following four topics for the IIP Collaborative to address:

  1. Using Bulk Queries to Access IIS Data. On average, IIS receive twice as many queries as submissions. Key partner groups are unable to access the data they need in a timely manner because of disparate and/or inadequate query or bulk data protocols.
  2. Data Validation and Addressing Reasons for IIS Rejections. Inconsistency in how data are entered, such as dates entered in the future, birth date discrepancies, or missing fields, can cause IIS to reject immunization messages. Data validation prior to submission can improve acceptance.
  3. Improving the Capture of Race and Ethnicity. Data gaps for race and ethnicity or reporting “unknown” to IIS are common. Improving the capture and submission of race and ethnicity data supports efforts to improve vaccination equity.
  4. Regularly Updating Code Sets. Out-of-sync code sets (e.g., National Drug Codes for annual flu vaccine) between immunization data exchange partners impede data interoperability and can prevent patients’ vaccinations from being recorded properly.

Stay tuned, as further research and project scoping are underway. For questions or to learn more about the IIP, connect at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 


HIMSS22 Global Health Conference & Exhibition

Join AIRA at the HIMSS22 Global Health Conference & Exhibition and save on registration! We are excited to be a HIMSS22 Collaborator, and our members receive the HIMSS member rate to attend. To receive the discount:

  • Go to the conference website.
  • Choose the appropriate registration option.
  • Click on “Register.”
  • Sign in or create an account.
  • Select AIRA from the “Conference Collaborating Organizations” dropdown menu.
  • Enter the code HIMSS22COL.

The HIMSS22 Global Health Conference & Exhibition will be held March 14-18, 2022, in Orlando, Florida, and brings you world-class education, cutting-edge products and solutions, and networking opportunities to solve your health information and technology challenges—all at one time, all in one place. HIMSS22 Digital will be held on March 14–17, 2022. It’s an extension of the in-person event, not a duplicate or livestream of on-site activities. The digital program features four days of exclusive live content, with a library of on-demand, continuing education-eligible sessions. This digital environment will offer flexible, personalized content tailored for the online experience from anywhere in the world with on-demand access through April 30, 2022.

 

Former competitive swimmer Michael Phelps is a featured keynote speaker. He’ll explore the significance of physical and mental/emotional health, including his foundation’s global effort to advance mental health initiatives.

 

We hope to see you there!


 
 
 

Measurement and Improvement Updates

Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool use is expanding!
Since 2017, the Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool (AART) has been a valuable application that helps jurisdictions visualize and compile results into community-driven measures and tests correlating to the Immunization Information System Functional Standards. Measurement and Improvement (M&I) uses of AART include running test cases by content area, testing AART connections, and publishing reports. Recently, the Measurement for Assessment & Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW) supported expanding the use of AART beyond the needs of M&I to include the following:

  • Fulfillment of quick, ad hoc, aggregate requests from community partners
  • Verification of HL7 connections with federal partners
  • Testing data for various research projects

All additional testing and research beyond M&I using AART is shared as aggregate data. At no time will any IIS be identified without consent. As with other content areas within M&I, AART defaults to inclusion but provides control to admin users to set settings as they choose. Admin users are encouraged to confirm their measurement and sharing settings by logging into AART and clicking Settings in the upper right-hand corner as show in the image above. An additional section called “Other” has been added to the AART Settings page for measurement concepts beyond M&I.



 

 

Share Your SmartyStreets Success

The SmartyStreets User Group is a forum that brings together members from the IIS community who implement and use SmartyStreets as well as IIS interested in adopting SmartyStreets as a data quality intervention.

 

Share your success
Is your IIS using SmartyStreets to complete a project? How does SmartyStreets help with patient deduplication? Are you using SmartyStreets to help generate data visualizations? User group members would love to hear about how SmartyStreets has impacted your IIS operations. If you’re interested in presenting during one of the 2022 user group meetings, please email Tesha Lucas. All stories are welcome!

 

Want to learn more about what SmartyStreets offers? Need to understand how to use the service? We’re here to help! Find more information about address cleansing and geocoding on the Address Cleansing Service web page or contact Tesha Lucas to learn more about SmartyStreets.


 

 

 

Committee and Workgroup Updates: November Recap

HL7 Immunization User Group

  • The user group met on November 18.
  • The user group discussed the HL7 Immunization Innovations Group.
  • The user group discussed COVID-19 vaccine doses (half-doses and children’s doses) and potential topics for discussion for 2022 and asked IIS to present to the community at future meetings.
  • The next user group meeting is December 9, 2021, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET.

Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW)

  • MACAW met on November 4.
  • Kristi Siahaya discussed the different content areas of measurement.
  • The workgroup discussed the use of Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool terms and conditions.
  • The workgroup discussed the background and overview of Summary Assessment for Measurement and Improvement (SAMI) and recapped the October meeting.
  • The next MACAW meeting is December 9 from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW)

SmartyStreets User Group

Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC)

  • The SISC met on November 10.
  • Paloma Hawry, speaking on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave an update on code sets.
  • The committee received an update about the HL7 User Group and SISC small groups from Nathan Bunker.
  • The committee discussed Public Health FHIR Accelerator at the meeting on October 13.
  • Eric Larson continued his updates on current guidance and activities for managing/denoting clinical trial vaccines.
  • The next committee meeting is December 8, 2021, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

Tableau User Group (TUG)

  • The user group met on November 23.
  • Ned Kalapasev from the Northern Kentucky Health Department gave a demonstration on his COVID-19 Immunization Dashboard.
  • The next TUG meeting is January 25, 2022, from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

NOTE: Meeting minutes will capture only action items and decisions made. Recordings of the meetings can be obtained directly upon request by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

AIRA Job Opportunities

Are you interested in working for AIRA or in the IIS community? Find current job openings at AIRA and other states/jurisdictions on the Employment Opportunities and Requests for Proposals page on the AIRA website.

  • There are no opportunities at this time.

Opportunities for independent contractors

Sign up to get notifications of future contracting opportunities.

  • There are no opportunities at this time.

 

AIRA in the News - November 2021

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