Message Quality Evaluation (MQE) Tool

The Message Quality Evaluation (MQE) tool is an in-progress open-source application that will be freely available to the members of the IIS community. It assesses message quality for incoming HL7 messages. It will allow users with varying levels of expertise to quickly and easily generate a series of reports that describe the quality of incoming immunization data.

The MQE tool, originally called the Data Quality Assurance (DQA) tool, has been available in the open source marketplace for several years and has been used by a number of IIS programs across the country. In 2017, AIRA chose to develop an initial version of the MQE, along with accompanying governance, as the next project for the Joint Development & Implementation (JDI) Initiative.

The MQE tool produces a series of standardized reports that indicate the level of quality in a batch of messages. These reports reflect evaluations in three specific areas:

  • Completeness: Are required and recommended fields being sent as expected?
  • Quality: Are there errors or warnings in the received data?
  • Timeliness: Are reports of vaccination administration being received in an appropriate time frame?

At each level, a score is generated, and these scores are grouped together until a final overall score is obtained.

While many IIS have data quality strategies in place, the ways in which incoming data are evaluated vary from site to site. AIRA selected the MQE as a Joint Development & Implementation (JDI) project because it exemplifies the kind of collaborative product that benefits the entire community. The tool itself provides access to a wide array of data quality checks that reflect the experience of the entire community. When multiple sites evaluate incoming data using the same tool and compare the same elements using the same code sets and metadata, those sites will be able to better collaborate to solve common data quality issues – across messages, submitters, or even vaccine types. Having a standardized metric can help IIS staff quickly act on important data quality issues and give confidence to approve good systems for production.

AIRA welcomes any IIS that is interested in being part of the evolution of this open-source tool. We encourage sites to get engaged with the upcoming MQE User Group to help shape the future of this tool and embrace its use. For IIS that have technology resources to share, we hope that you’ll engage with the MQE Technical Team in the ongoing development of the tool. Working together, we hope to standardize data quality processes and provide a sustainable forum for shared community resources and training.


For questions regarding JDI, or to join with others in the collaborative development of the MQE Tool, please contact Maureen Neary.