Background: With Public Health Law mandating reporting immunization information for persons less than 19 years of age into the web-based New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) as of January 1, 2008, a two-year implementation strategy was designed to maximize provider participation. At 15 months, the first cases of the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic emerged, provider outreach activities were impacted and provider participation was expected to plateau.
Setting: Providers in New York State, outside of New York City.
Population: Health care providers were those: 1) already participating in the voluntary registries, 2) participating in the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program, and 3) other providers immunizing children. Information for adults can also be reported, with written consent.
Project Description: Infrastructure changes were designed in NYSIIS to support a mass vaccination campaign. Communication of these enhancements and integration into the H1N1 vaccine registration process was a very effective outreach tool. Initially, NYSIIS participation was going to be a condition of H1N1 vaccine receipt by providers. Ultimately, only those vaccinating children would be required to report to NYSIIS, per Public Health Law, but NYSIIS participation was strongly encouraged throughout the H1N1 response.
Results/Lessons Learned: NYSIIS participation continued to increase as a result of the integration of NYSIIS into H1N1 activities. From April to December 2009, 697 new organizations and 2,517 new users were added. This included non-traditional participants such as occupational health and Ob-Gyns. Further, 588,000 new patients and 9.1 million new immunizations, including H1N1, were added. The percentage of children less than six years of age with two or more immunizations in NYSIIS increased from 56.2 % to 72.4%. The availability of NYSIIS was critical for providers to track patient immunization and assure vaccine accountability and provides a valuable data set for the public health analyses necessary in responding to an event of this magnitude.
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