Vaccine Management Podcast Episode 2 - 3 ways to close the COVID19 vaccine data management gap
Vaccine Management: Closing the Gap
Nick: Hello, I am Nick Demetriades. Thank you for joining us in the second episode of – Vaccine Management – Closing the Gap podcast
From supply issues and vaccine hesitancy to scheduling and registration failures, the national vaccination efforts are plagued by many problems.
In this podcast, we interview Dr. Suman De. to discuss the state of vaccination efforts, the challenges that states are facing, and what should they do to meet, and even exceed, the president’s target of vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days.
Welcome again, Dr. Suman.
Suman: Thanks, Nick.
Nick: Dr. Suman, in our last episode, we had discussed the registration, scheduling, and vaccine information gaps. What’s the situation this week?
Suman: These three are still an issue for most states, Nick. Hopefully the 3 tactics that we discussed in our last podcast would help state and local governments fix these issues around registration and scheduling.
The other thing that’s becoming a headache is data collection and timely reporting related to the Covid-19 vaccination.
Each vaccination event generates a paper record. This must be entered, one at a time, into another electronic system. And, all this information is transmitted to the state’s immunization registry.
Staff members are spending hours each week manually entering data to meet state & cities requirements, while they are running vaccine clinics.
This is leading to a delay in reporting. A shot that’s in someone’s arm might look like it’s still sitting in a freezer.
There are chances of errors, for example a person may receive the Moderna vaccine but may get listed as having received the Pfizer shot, or the vaccine administration date field may contain the date of birth instead.
These issues are causing under-reporting of the vaccine administration numbers. A provider system in one of the states in the Western part of US, for example, reported data that suggested the facility had administered only 700 doses. The actual vaccination records showed, however, that almost 7000 shots had been given.
The level of data accuracy is causing a huge problem in vaccination effort.
Nick: This is a serious issue. It undermines the efficacy of the vaccines and presents an incorrect picture of the vaccination status. Why do you think this is happening?
Suman: Most of the state registries remain outdated. There’s a lack of interoperability between these registries and the systems that providers use. Some of the vaccine systems are also in-efficient with respect to tracking and reporting the shots that are administered. This is because of the long drawn-use of the legacy application. And, we’ve seen the challenges that COVID vaccination has exposed with respect to the underfunded public health infrastructure.
Nick: So, what’s your prescription for these issues? How can state and local governments navigate these challenges?
Suman: I’ll have my typical 3 prescriptions. First, State and local governments should ensure that their system can generate a QR code for every appointment. The QR code not only supports contact-less checking but when scanned can verify the information like the demographics of the person receiving the shot.
The second is to build an automated data capture mechanism to make the entire process more efficient. There should be an underlying data validation technique to ensure all the data captured is correct and that there is no missing or inaccurate data.
After the shot is administered, the vaccination record, as a HL7 message, can be automatically sent to the state immunization registries, ensuring an almost real-time synch between the provider systems like Electronic Health Records and the state immunization registry or the IIS.
Automated data quality checks can ensure the records are valid before they are pushed to the registries and can fix any data issues.
Lastly, it will be important to deploy a modernized system to support “near-real-time” data reporting about the number of doses that each provider has on hand every day, based on a simpler daily reporting system that only takes a few keystrokes to capture and share.
All of this will help improve insight into who received the vaccine, if the doses are being accounted for accurately, and if vaccine administration is fair and equitable.
Nick: If you will, Dr. one final question. How can state and local governments build these capabilities? Would solutions like Infosys Vaccine Management be able to help?
Dr. Suman: Absolutely, Nick. Infosys Vaccine Management solution includes a MuleSoft-based integration hub and API libraries. These can help states quickly connect with any federal and provider system and exchange the data in HL7/FHIR compliant mode.
Our solution does the three things that I just mentioned –
- It automates the data capture process. It validates the data as captured. It generates QR codes for validating registration identity and demographic details
- It uses bar code scanning to quickly capture vaccine products- Lot#, manufacturer name, expiry date, beyond use date, etc. data attributes so there’s no requirement for manual data entry
- And, it uses an analytics engine to generate necessary insights which are necessary for the health authorities to understand how their program is performing
Nick: Wow, sounds like a lot of great information, Dr. Thank you for joining us today and sharing your insights. And, thank you, our listeners.
Hope you found the discussion interesting. Stay tuned as we cover the state of COVID19 vaccination efforts & provide practical insights for states to execute their COVID19 vaccination program safely & effectively.
If you have any feedback or would like us to cover any specific areas, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bye for now.