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How to Complete a Public Health Data Exchange In An IIS Platform

Posted on March 6th, 2023   |   SSG

Completing a public health data exchange in an immunization information system (IIS) is an important part of the public health surveillance process. Public health agencies must collect and analyze data regarding the immunization of the local population when implementing guidelines and policies. Tracking the number of vaccinated people within a given region will help the agency better respond to the emerging health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the need for efficient immunization reporting. Public health agencies may struggle to collect immunization data using the IIS system if certain providers or facilities don’t have access to the database. The IIS reporting and monitoring process should be simple for all team members to ensure this information is accurate and easily accessible to those who need it. 

Learn how to complete a public health data exchange in an IIS platform in the digital age without losing valuable information. 

What steps do I take to complete a public health data exchange?

The steps to complete a public health data exchange in an IIS vary by state and locality. Individual immunization information isn’t stored on the federal level. Each state uses its own IIS system to track and monitor the number of people vaccinated within a particular region. 

But the system should follow these basic steps:

User Registration

The public health worker or provider completing the data exchange will need to log into the system and create an account if they haven’t done so already. They will be granted access if they are legally entitled to access the information. Users with the proper credentials can enter their information to register with the IIS.

The exchange should occur as quickly as possible to increase the information flow without decreasing the data’s accuracy. The user registration process should be simple and intuitive so all team members can quickly access the information they need. The platform should flag duplicate entries to prevent users from having multiple accounts. 

Organization Registration

The user will then need to enter information about the organization with which they identify. If the facility hasn’t been onboarded to the IIS, the user will need to register the organization, including the name, ID number, and type of facility. 

Again, simplicity and speed are crucial to success. The user should be able to quickly register the organization with the IIS, especially as new vaccination sites come online, with safeguards to prevent duplicate entries.

The onboarding process should take as little time as possible. Some organizations or stakeholders may request access within the next business day. 

Providers should be onboarded to ensure they report directly to IIS so the entry is included in the final data set. Some providers can’t complete the data exchange because their electronic records system isn’t compatible with the IIS. In this case, the system should alert the IT team so they can facilitate onboarding. Learn more about the IIS onboarding process. 

Public health departments will need to share the information they receive with various parties, including various departments in the state and federal government as well as private companies organizations, including non-profits and insurance providers that may be involved in the vaccination program.  The IIS should have a separate reporting system for those who need access to this data, so the agency can quickly send off this information.

Task Manager Monitoring and Provider Monitoring

Providers and public health workers will need to monitor immunization information as the situation evolves. All users entitled to access should be able to access this information. The SSG public health data software dashboard indicates whether providers or team members have completed the onboarding process. It will also flag team members and organizations that have started the onboarding process but have run into issues. This creates visibility for all team members. Workers can quickly address any onboarding issues as they occur to improve the flow of information. 

When using the SSG public health platform, the data exchange occurs on RESTful open API. This syncs the entry between the IIS and the IIS Resource Center. It features a bidirectional sync of partner data, which ensures both parties receive information while keeping it consistent.

What challenges will I face when merging data to an IIS platform?

Challenges can arise when certain providers use EHR systems that aren’t compatible with the IIS. The IIS platform should automatically alert providers trying to complete the data exchange if their organization is not yet onboarded. The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes to get all team members onboard with the IIS for continuous reporting.

Public access portals can also create challenges. These databases should directly report to the IIS while keeping the data consistent between the two. Some states may allow demographic-only updates when tracking immunization rates. Users can now integrate demo-only updates into the IIS and use the program to track any demographic changes in the immunization trends. 

The best IIS platforms have a dedicated resource center where users can find solutions to potential issues. The center is meant to be a single interface for onboarding, provider communications, support, doc storage, and all your reporting needs. It should be fully integrated into the IIS, so there are no discrepancies between the two systems.

The reporting methods should be completely configurable in every sense of the word, as it often means different things to different stakeholders. There’s a chance an insurance company or organization could request data on all organizations and providers contributing to the IIS, so the agency should be able to produce these records when needed. 

How do I not lose data when merging data within an IIS platform?

The IIS system may contain duplicate records that will reduce the accuracy of the department’s overall report. Public health data managers and platform administrators need to make sure they aren’t deleting sensitive data when merging duplicate entries. The interface should automatically alert the user to possible duplicates, so they compare the two entries side-by-side and make sure all the relevant information stays in the system. The program may also merge duplicate records automatically by adding supplemental information instead of deleting the extra copy.

Everyone’s time is valuable. The onboarding and data exchange process should be easy. It should provide access to internal and external parties with the proper clearance. Public health departments should think long term and make sure their platform is truly configurable as the immunization requirements change.

Remember that refining the data exchange process shouldn’t be a massive project. It should be simple and inexpensive. You don’t have to solve all the problems in one day. Contact SSG to learn more about our software solutions for public health agencies and how they can improve the immunization reporting process.

Successfully completing a public health data exchange in an IIS platform is a critical step towards enhancing immunization efforts and ensuring public health safety. To further support these goals, exploring comprehensive immunization information systems can provide the necessary tools and infrastructure for more efficient data handling, analysis, and reporting. Our solutions offer a robust framework for managing public health data, facilitating seamless exchanges, and empowering health departments with actionable insights to improve health outcomes.