Background: Statewide Immunization Information Systems, such as the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS) are valuable resources for healthcare providers to regulate patient immunization data. However, participation is typically limited amongst rural practices. Increasing provider participation in the VIIS will enable communities to surmount barriers to immunization delivery. Barriers include incomplete immunization records, lack of a patient reminder system, and inadequate provider knowledge of vaccine schedules. Because family practice physicians provide an entire spectrum of services, their immunization programs are often inefficient and difficult to maintain. As a result of the afore mentioned deficiencies, family practices are prime targets for VIIS outreach. Providing education to these providers regarding the benefits of the VIIS, methods to integrate usage into existing workflow, and methods to sustain IIS participation are paramount to increasing community-wide immunization rates.
Setting: Rural family practices
Population: Family practice physicians, nursing/clinical coordinators.
Project Description: A survey to identify immunization practices and participation with the VIIS was developed by the Prince William Health District (PWHD) and distributed to local family practices. Providers not enrolled in the VIIS will be included in the PWHD VIIS Expansion Program. This initiative provides an educational model for medical providers that is tailored to accommodate individual office workflow. A PWHD nurse provides education on integrating the VIIS into practice operations and trains staff on using the system. Part-time health district clerical staff assist providers with entering historical patient immunization data. Key messages include 1)Importance of community participation in maximizing benefits of the VIIS 2) Capability of syncing VIIS with electronic health systems 3) Advantages of a free online registry system 4) Benefits of a built-in ACIP tracking schedule
Results/Lessons Learned: Family Practices are ideal targets for IIS outreach. IIS outreach that accommodates existing practice workflow is the most successful in recruiting provider participation. Providing initial part-time data entry support is a vital incentive for providers to register with IIS systems.