The increase in life expectancy during the 20th century is largely due to improvements in child survival; this increase is associated with reductions in infectious disease mortality, due largely to immunization. Objectives for Healthy People 2020 reflect a more mobile society and the fact that diseases do not stop at geopolitical borders. Awareness of disease and completing prevention and treatment courses remain essential components for reducing infectious disease transmission. People in the United States, not excluding the state of Arkansas, continue to get diseases that are vaccine preventable, with viral hepatitis, influenza, and tuberculosis (TB) remaining a leading cause of mortality, and increased incidence of pertussis and measles being documented throughout the country; these vaccine preventable diseases account for substantial spending on the related consequences of infection. The state of Arkansas is implementing a state of the art Immunization Information System (IIS) to serve as an invaluable tool to increasing immunization rates across the state in an effort to eliminate the burden these diseases have on the Arkansas population.
- May – Meaningful Use Phase II (using HL72.3 or 2.5.1) testing begins for interested providers
- May 24 – the current registry (INC) goes offline at 7:00 am
- June 3 – Arkansas WebIZ goes live at 12:01 am to become the new Immunization Information System for the State of Arkansas
Immunization Information Systems (IIS) are confidential, population-based, computerized databases that record all immunization doses administered by participating providers to persons residing within a given geopolitical area1. These systems provide meaningful, near real-time data to support both clinical decision making, as well as the public health system. At the point of clinical care, an IIS can provide consolidated immunization histories for use by a vaccination provider in determining any needed client vaccinations. At the population level, an IIS provides aggregate data on vaccinations for use in surveillance and program operations, and in guiding public health action with the goals of improving vaccination rates and reducing vaccine-preventable diseases.
IIS are designed to provide assistance to immunization programs in identifying populations at high risk for vaccine-preventable diseases and target interventions and resources more effectively and efficiently. IIS combine immunization information from different sources into a single record and serve as official documentation that the individual can use to meet school, day care, and employment vaccination requirements. In addition, IIS possess strategic tools to assist immunization programs in efforts to increase vaccination coverage rates across the geopolitical areas they cover, including:
- Timely Immunizations – IIS can remind families of when an immunization is due or has been missed.
- Clinical Decision Support – IIS help providers and parents determine when immunizations are due and help ensure that children get only the vaccinations they need.
- Data Exchange – IIS are capable of exchanging immunization information with immunization healthcare providers. Data exchange between IIS and other information systems helps ensure timely immunizations, consolidation of records, and allows immunization providers to work more efficiently
The original immunization system, started in 1980, was known as the Arkansas Immunization Reporting System (AIRS), and served as a data repository for immunization information for children in the state of Arkansas. The existing Arkansas Immunization Network for Children (INC) was launched in 2005 and is a birth to death database of immunization records. Based on a system capacity review of the INC, it was determined that it cannot fulfill all responsibilities necessary for immunization information systems or adequately support an increase in demands in part created by new legislation, Act 179 of 2011, which establishes the INC as a life-span registry. Representatives from the ADH Immunization Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Technical Assistance Project further determined that the effort to improve and modernize the INC would be easier met through replacement rather than a rebuild of the current system.
The mission of the Arkansas Immunization Information System is to utilize information management technology as the basis for an information system capable of improving Arkansans’ immunization documentation and increasing the immunization rates of Arkansans, in order to prevent and/or reduce the morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable disease.
Overall Goals and Objectives
The Arkansas Immunization Information System is dedicated to serving all Arkansas providers as a computerized information system that supports the Immunization Program goal of reducing morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable disease in the state of Arkansas. In addition, the Arkansas Immunization Information System strives to achieve the following goals:
- To serve as the centralized immunization record repository for the state of Arkansas,
- To improve immunization practices throughout the state of Arkansas by providing immunization providers with advanced clinical decision support tools,
- To improve vaccine accountability by reducing unnecessary or inappropriate use of vaccine doses, supporting accurate vaccine inventory practices, and supporting Arkansas Department of Health vaccine ordering policies.
The IIS will support this goal through the following objectives: increasing credibility, increasing communication, and increasing capacity. The IIS will support these objectives by:
- Maintaining consolidated, comprehensive records of individual’s immunization histories,
- Making immunization records accessible to those with an appropriate health care or public health need, while preserving the integrity and security of the information contained in the system,
- Evaluating individuals’ immunization status to identify persons in need of additional vaccines, and notifying the individual and/or the provider to take follow-up action as necessary,
- Tracking information vital for vaccine adverse event follow-up,
- Managing vaccine inventory for health agencies and providers,
- Serving as a source for quality, timely immunization-related data to meet public health needs.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call the Arkansas WebIZ help desk at 1-800-574-4040.