Immunization Information Systems (IIS): Why They are Crucial for Disease Prevention
Immunization is the key to preventing certain diseases and illnesses. It prevents severe illness and death and may even help ward off infection. The more people immunized in the community, the less the virus can spread. Public health agencies regularly adjust their approach to public policy based on the number of people vaccinated within a jurisdiction. It is up to state public health agencies to collect data on the number of people vaccinated within the population. This is known as a centralized immunization information system (IIS). They are vital to keeping the public safe from disease and illnesses, especially in the face of a pandemic.
What is an IIS?
An IIS is a state-run database on the number of people vaccinated within the population. Each state has a separate immunization department that oversees this information collection. Private healthcare companies and providers are mainly responsible for administering the vaccine. The public health department will need to collect immunization data from vaccine administration and organize these records into a single database. Each record may contain supplementary information about the patient, including their age, race, gender, and location.
The department overseeing the IIS will send an immunization report to public health agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Officials will use this information to implement an effective response to reduce infection rates within the local population.
How Does an IIS Benefit the Public?
The report shows public health officials what types of people are most at risk of infection. The government uses immunization information systems to shape public health policy. For example, the federal government sets immunization requirements for businesses and individuals based on the number of people who have been vaccinated. Officials may also implement public health policies, such as social distancing measures or personal protective equipment, to protect the public.
Based on information gathered at the state level, the federal government may need to do more to improve vaccination rates by encouraging more people to sign up with a local provider. The data may also be used to identify specific groups that are hesitant to get vaccinated. Public health officials can then work to address their concerns to increase participation.
How to Scale an Immunization Information System?
Communicable diseases and infectious viruses can spread quickly. Public health departments need to be able to scale their immunization information systems to make room for all the data that is coming their way. The IIS should be able to grow at scale with the amount of incoming information. The program should also communicate with other information systems, so the government can see how many people have been vaccinated across the country.
How to Modernize an Immunization Information System?
Facilities can modernize their immunization information systems by automating the data collection process. Officials should use a system that automatically analyzes and sorts immunization data from various sources, including electronic health records, file uploads, and healthcare information exchanges, so workers don’t have to enter this information manually. Manual data entry can lead to missing or incomplete data. It is also an inefficient use of the department’s resources.
The program should automatically identify possible errors in the system before uploading the immunization data to the government database. The user can quickly adjust the fields in question to ensure the data complies with the CDC’s reporting system.
Immunization is our best defense against infectious diseases. State and local governments must use the latest IIS technology to improve data collection. This creates an accurate portrait of the number of people that are vaccinated within a given population. Public health officials will then adjust their policies accordingly. For example, once a certain number of people got vaccinated against COVID-19, many states and localities eased their social distancing restrictions as the threat of infection receded.
Contact SSG’s immunization information systems experts to learn more about our data collection software.