Background: The Indian Health Service (IHS) immunization data exchange initiative encourages IHS, tribal and urban Indian health (ITU) sites to participate in immunization information systems (IIS). IHS developed software to facilitate provider participation in an automated, two-way batch ITU/IIS interface
Objectives: To characterize participation by ITU providers in 35 state IIS. To track participation over time, sites receive a survey annually as both IIS capabilities and interface software evolve.
Methods: In 2009, a survey was distributed to the 292 ITU sites reporting to the IHS National Immunization Reporting System. Responses were analyzed using Epi Info. The survey will be re-administered in 2010, and results will be compared to 2009 results.
Results: In 2009, we received responses from 147 of 292 (50%) sites in 28 states. Of those, 78% reported sharing information with the IIS, and 63% obtained IIS information through look-up capability. For those using an ITU/IIS interface, 15% sent information one-way to the IIS, and 11% reported bidirectional information sharing. 47% entered data directly into the IIS and 42% entered data into both IIS and IHS systems --- double data entry. Although two way interfaces account for only 11% of all participation, 94% of respondents felt this would be useful to have.
Conclusions: While ITU providers would prefer IIS participation through electronic interface, most respondents send information to the IIS using direct data entry and obtain IIS data through look-up capability. ITU providers do value look-up as a tool to obtain IIS data, but most see double data entry as a barrier to IIS participation. While not all IIS can support two way immunization interfaces, their continued communication with and support to ITU providers is critical to maintaining participation and keeping them engaged as interfaces develop.