The American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) 20th Year Anniversary Annual Meeting was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from Aug 13th – 15th.

Ai employees Kelly Carulli (KC) and Michelle Consolazio (MC) attended this year and reflect on their experiences. Ai has demonstrated expertise providing strategic capabilities for Immunization Information Systems (IIS) initiatives.

Ai currently has three different Immunization Information System (IIS) related projects including: Consumer Engagement for IIS, the IZ Gateway Project, and the Human Centered Design Patient Portal and IIS Connectivity Project.

  • The Consumer Engagement for IIS project goal is to provide families with online access to immunization records and forecasts available through IIS to stay up to date on their vaccinations.
  • The IZ Gateway Project aims to connect multi-state provider organizations with IIZ through a hub and spoke model.
    To do so, the project team supports onboarding services with IIS and aims to centralize legal agreements for connectivity.
  • The Human Centered Design Patient Portal and IIS Connectivity Project goal is to connect consumers with their IIS data through third party apps and patient portals where they view and store their other health data. This will be completed through an iterative human centered design focus developing multiple versions of wireframes to implement an optimized consumer experience accessing IIS records.

These projects were highlighted during three sessions at the AIRA Annual Meeting:

  • Ask the Experts: Consumer Access to Immunization Records: A Spectrum of Approaches
  • The IZ Gateway: Reducing Burden While Improving IIS Completeness Nationwide
  • The Impact of Consumer Engagement During an Outbreak

 


 

MC: What types of stakeholder groups attended the AIRA annual meeting?

KC: Primarily, IIS staff from states and regions attend the annual meeting as well as vendors and projects that support IIS.  It’s a community of organizations and projects that support one another and the common strategy of improving data capture and quality of immunization data in registries throughout the US.

KC: Michelle, this is your first year attending the AIRA meeting, what are your initial thoughts on the meeting and the IIS community?

MC: Overall, I’ve been impressed by the depth of knowledge on immunizations and the lack of awareness I had about the immunization community itself.  Being new to immunization work, this was a crash course in IIS.  Throughout the sessions, I learned things I would not have thought about otherwise and gained an understanding of the importance of the language used and how the work is marketed.  It’s exciting that we can make an impact through these projects.  Being here was a great way to put the pieces together of how organizations work together and how our projects interconnect and benefit one another.

MC: Having attended, how has this compared to past years?

KC: It is great getting to attend this annual meeting to reconnect with those I’ve met in prior years and attend with a deeper understanding of the projects and initiatives that are presented during this conference.  We are currently working on three different IIS focused projects and it was great to meet teammates in person that we have been speaking with by phone over the last ten months.  The AIRA community is a tight-knit group that really exemplifies the power of a public health community.

KC: What are your takeaways from the Consumer Access: Ask the Experts Panel?

MC: The importance of marketing was really emphasized in this session.  The language we use is essential in reaching target audiences.  Prior initiatives with MyIR will inform the Human Centered Design Patient Portal and IIS connectivity project as we get things up and running with project partners including Docket and Caredox.  I learned the importance of socializing the project within the IIS community and relying upon them for feedback and to identify future participants.

MC: What are your takeaways from the IZ Gateway session: Reducing Burden While Improving IIS Completeness Nationwide?

KC: During our session it was a great opportunity to present our initial project approach with the IIS community to solicit their feedback and learn how to improve our efforts for future pilots.  I really enjoyed the world café breakout style that enabled the groups to cover our primary project focus areas including technology, project impact, onboarding, evaluation, and legal considerations. During this breakout style session, attendees were able to provide input related to the various topics.  I staffed a table focused on evaluation having written the project logic model and evaluation plan and it was great to get feedback on items I had not considered such as possible strategies for lowering numbers of duplicates within the IIS.  This was our first time presenting this project publicly and it’s exciting to see how potential future partners react to our strategy.

KC: Outside of the annual meeting sessions, what was your favorite part of our trip?

MC: Since this was AIRA’s 20th annual meeting, they really went all out with their reception this year.  It was at the Grand Hall at Union Station including flowers, dinner, drinks, and a photobooth.  It was a great opportunity to meet new people in the IIS community and connect with our project partners.

MC: What did you learn that you didn’t expect to learn through this meeting?

KC: My main takeaway from this annual meeting is the importance of the IIS community perspective in all our projects.  Without their commitment, support, and candid feedback, we are less likely to be successful in our projects.  It was great to gain a deeper knowledge of the successes they’ve experienced such as higher use and compliance with HL7 standards.  On the other hand, legal and policy barriers still hinder interoperability and data quality improvement efforts in many instances.

MC: It made me rethink how we gather and use data and that we can be more effective in the use of data going forward.  For example, in the IIS/EHR Collaboration Session on Weds 8/14, they used an interactive survey tool to gather live survey feedback that was shared with the audience in real time.  It would be great to use this tool or one like it as we seek out feedback on our low resolution and high-resolution wireframes for the Human Centered Design Patient Portal and IIS Connectivity Project.


 

Sarah Miller Headshot

Kelly Carulli
Director | Audacious Inquiry

 


 

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