Background: Since 2005 the Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW), a joint initiative of the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed “best practice” guidelines for immunization information systems (IIS).
Objectives: A panel of experts was assembled in 2010 to discuss and document best practices for IIS-VFC (Vaccines For Children) collaboration with the focus on VFC and grantee program eligibilities.
Methods: The panel was representative of stakeholders from IIS, Federal and state VFC programs and information technology consultancies. Facilitation and business modeling techniques were used during a face-to-face meeting and multiple web-based teleconferences to support analysis and consensus-building activities. The panel’s discussions were complemented by email and telephone communications among individual contributors.
Results: Main work products include:
- Agreed upon concepts, terms, and definitions, e.g., eligibility for a patient, vaccine, and vaccination event
- Decision tables presenting concise logic for screening a patient for VFC and Grantee eligibilities (26 screening scenarios)
- 18 business rules guiding operational aspects of eligibility screening, e.g., how often to screen, how to deal with dual-coverage, what information to record
- 12 general recommendations for IIS functionality and various operational aspects of IIS-VFC collaboration
- Description for eligibility-related reports, with a focus on the Provider Organization Profile report
- Paper-based tool to facilitate determination of patient’s eligibility
Conclusions: The panel of experts formulated consensus-based best practice recommendations for the eligibilities aspect of the IIS-VFC collaboration. Implementation of the recommended best practices will help to improve IIS collaboration with immunization programs and increase the consistency of managing VFC and grantee eligibilities among grantee programs.