Monthly Update

January 2019 in Review

In This Issue…

  1. #AIRA2019 National Meeting
  2. Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Meeting Summary
  3. New! Onboarding Consensus-Based Recommendations Guide
  4. Measurement & Improvement Update
  5. HIMSS19 Interoperability and HIE Symposium Collaborator
  6. Recent Information Requests Added to the AIRA Repository
  7. Steering Committee Updates: January Recap

Check Out the AIRA Events Calendar for Upcoming…

 The call for abstracts, registration, and award nominations for the AIRA 2019 National Meeting is open! 

Join us as AIRA celebrates its 20th anniversary! The AIRA 2019 National Meeting will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana August 13–15, 2019. Together, we will continue to work toward our common goal of promoting the use of immunization information to ensure healthy communities through the development and implementation of immunization information systems (IIS).

Check out the new National Meeting website to:

  • Submit an abstract
  • Register for the event
  • Reserve your hotel room
  • Submit an award nomination
  • Learn about sponsorship opportunities


AIRA invites IIS partners to consider joining AIRA as a Supporting Member. Supporting Membership includes many benefits, including sponsorship of the National Meeting. Visit the Sponsor page for more information.

We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis!

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Meeting Summary

IIS, immunization program staff, and select partners met for three days at CDC in Atlanta January 22–24 to learn about the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the upcoming Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) cycle.

Dr. Melinda Wharton, director of the Immunization Services Division (ISD) at CDC, provided the welcome for the meeting and presented current data on immunization coverage rates as well as the most recent National Immunization Survey (NIS) coverage awards. Congratulations to all of the award winners!

Many CDC staff shared valuable information about the structure and content for the Immunization Program Operations Manual (IPOM), and meeting slides are available to awardees on the CDC SharePoint site. This article includes a few highlights that may be especially relevant to the IIS community (however, please refer to CDC as the true experts on this information!).

Budget Period 1:
July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020
Period of Performance:
July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2024

Differences of note between the current and future CoAg cycles:

  • There are no CDC-suggested activities or performance measures. All listed activities and performance measures are required unless determined not to be applicable. Awardees must confer with their project officers and provide justification in the application if they believe this to be the case.
  • There were some terminology changes for the upcoming CoAg period: Awardee/grantee will now be referred to as award recipient, the FOA is now NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity), and project period will now be referred to asperiod of performance.
  • Instead of Units A-E, the IPOM now contains Chapters A-L.
    • IIS is still Chapter D but is now called IIS and Technology.
    • It was stressed that IIS should be represented and referenced throughout the application.

Throughout the three days, IIS Support Branch staff demonstrated their new CDC Dashboard that will soon be rolled out. The tool will leverage and display IIS Annual Report data in new and helpful ways and will allow programs to compare their results with those of their peers. If you weren’t able to see the Dashboard in Atlanta, view a recording of the February 4th AIRA Discovery Session to learn more.

Lynn Gibbs-Scharf, the new acting branch chief, presented on the IIS Section on Day 2 of the meeting. She shared several IIS strategy considerations:

  • There is a growing number of IIS stakeholders, and expanded functionalities needed to support immunization services cannot be all things to all people.
  • There are currently performance disparities across systems.
  • There is a need to maximize use of shared services.
  • There is a need for improved efficiencies.

 In summary, the IPOM chapter for IIS stresses that IIS should meet the Functional Standards.

 The IIS Support Branch within CDC will continue to promote these four foundational areas:

  • Coverage estimates
  • Childhood completeness
  • Pediatric CDS
  • Bidirectional data exchange

The acting branch chief emphasized that support and technical assistance are available to help IIS better prioritize, coordinate to jointly address common challenges, and collect and analyze performance data.

On Day 3, Elizabeth Sullivan, Program Operations Branch funds management lead, presented on the optional projects available in the upcoming CoAg cycle.

The optional project topics came out of working groups and feedback from awardees. There are three program areas (AA, BB, and CC) for this next five-year period, and they cover six project components:

 Project AA1: Improving vaccination coverage for under-vaccinated populations

  • Support programmatic activities to understand, reach, and improve vaccination of under-vaccinated populations
  • Expected number of awards: 25
  • Average award: $250,000
  • 12-monthproject, can apply for funding in a future year

Strategies and activities may include identifying under-vaccinated populations, engaging providers/stakeholders, working with stakeholders to develop education, etc.

Project BB1: VPD (vaccine-preventable disease) outbreak response to strengthen capacity and support for non-vaccine needs

  • Non-vaccine infrastructure support during VPD outbreak response
  • Expected number of awards: 25
  • Average award: $250,000
  • 12-monthproject, can apply for funding in a future year

Strategies and activities may include conducting surveillance, collaborating with preparedness, working with stakeholders to identify and implement an effective and timely response, etc.

Project Area CC – Enhancements of IIS (four projects)

  • Project CC1: Improving performance of underperforming IIS
  • Expected number of awards: 5
  • Average award: $1,000,000
  • 12-monthproject, can apply for funding in a future year
  • Eligibility criteria: >20% difference between 2017 IISAR (Immunization Information Systems Annual Report) responses as compared with child or teen NIS
  • Strategies and activities: conduct analysis, independent assessment (“Use AIRA, PHII (Public Health Informatics Institute), etc. to assess your systems”), analyze or document requirements, plan for a transition, etc.

Project CC2: Improving data completeness and data quality for childhood data in select IIS

  • Expected number of awards: 20
  • Average award: $300,000
  • 12-monthproject, can apply for funding in a future year
  • Eligibility criteria: 10–20% difference between 2017 IISAR responses as compared with child or teen NIS
  • Strategies and activities: advance IIS capabilities, explore root cause analysis of data quality issues, etc.

Project CC3: IIS Learning laboratory supporting the development of best practices for IIS for coverage assessment and other programmatic functions

  • Expected number of awards: 12
  • Average award: $300,000
  • 5-year project, non-competitive continuation application due each year
  • Eligibility criteria: no more than 10% difference between 2017 IISAR responses as compared with child or teen NIS
  • Requires minimum of four evaluation projects (at least one must be done in collaboration with another jurisdiction, and at least three must be submitted to peer-reviewed journals)
  • Strategies and activities: identify areas with low vaccination rates, conduct evaluation projects, support VFC programs in capturing dose level eligibility, online ordering, etc.

Project CC4: Vaccine coverage assessment using IIS

  • Advance use of IIS data for monitoring coverage and vaccine use
  • Expected number of awards: 25
  • Average award: $100,000
  • 2-year project, non-competitive continuation application due next year, can apply for funding in a future year
  • Eligibility criteria: no more than 10% difference between 2017 IISAR responses as compared with child AND teen NIS, and at least 90% of vax doses administered to <19 submitted to and processed by the IIS within 90 days
  • Strategies and activities: annual submission of de-identified data to CDC, submit monthly flu data (if pandemic, submit weekly), submit aggregate IIS data, submit three to seven ad hoc requests annually, develop a data-use agreement with legal advisement

CDC will be requesting a letter of intent from those programs interested in applying for the optional projects, but the letter will not be binding. One letter will suffice for all program components. (As a reminder, it’s also a really good idea to let your IIS vendor or implementer know about your potential plans for applying for optional projects as soon as possible.)

The deadline for the application is expected to be March 29, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET. Submit the application to for the first year, and all subsequent years will be submitted through Grant Solutions.

CDC also has an email inbox set up for questions. Submit questions on the NOFO to: [email protected]. ISD will create a Frequently Asked Questions document based on applicants’ questions and share it back with the community.

New! Onboarding Consensus-Based Recommendations Guide

AIRA is excited to announce that a new guide Onboarding Consensus-Based Recommendations is now published on the AIRA website. The purpose of the guide is to provide guidance for improving and standardizing onboarding with a specific focus on:

  • Standardizing the onboarding process across jurisdictions
  • Improving onboarding process efficiencies by streamlining activities and introducing appropriate support tools and technologies
  • Decreasing the overall number of providers waiting in queue and the amount of time providers spend in process from start to finish
  • Facilitating the transition of existing interfaces to align with current and future messaging and transport standards
  • Maximizing limited resources—time, money, and staff—for all onboarding partnersImproving stakeholder relations

A community-wide webinar to introduce the guide will be held on Monday, February 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.  You can register for the webinar here. The webinar information can also be found on the AIRA website. If you are unable to attend this session, a recording link can be found later in the week by using the “webinars” filter in the AIRA repository

If you have any questions regarding this document, please contact Nichole Lambrecht

Measurement & Improvement Update

AIRA and the members of MACAW (the Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup) would like to wish you all a happy new year. With a new year, comes the next year of Validation. Transport, Submission/Acknowledgement, and Query/Response Validation for 2019 will be available in AART (the Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool) for authorized users by the end of March. 

Additionally, Transport Validation – Quarter 4 update reports have been published. The Basic Transport Validation report can be found here, and the Complete Transport Validation report can be found here.

The first Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Discovery and Assessment reports are delayed due to the unavailability of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tools during the government shutdown. Be on the lookout for these reports in February and March. They can be found in AART for authorized users. Users will see an updated dashboard and will be able to view results for all four content areas in AART. Admin users are also asked to confirm their participation and sharing settings. More information about participation and sharing settings can be found here.

For questions or comments, please contact Kristi Siahaya

HIMSS19 Interoperability and HIE Symposium Collaborator

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition will take place February 11–15, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. AIRA is pleased to be a collaborator for the Interoperability and HIE Symposium titled “Pulse Check: Learning from Today’s Interoperability and HIE Successes and Unlocking the Potential of Tomorrow,” which will be offered on Monday, February 11, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

AIRA will also be offering an informational session/networking opportunity titled “Immunization Information Systems – Bringing Value, Lowering Burden for Providers” on Tuesday, February 12 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Orlando - Rosen Centre Salon 11. This session will provide an opportunity to learn and ask more about IIS: what value they bring and how they lower burden for providers and public health. If you are planning to attend HIMSS19, please join us for an interactive discussion. Ask the experts about interoperability, clinical decision support, outbreak response, and more. Join AIRA senior leadership for this unique opportunity being offered at HIMSS19.

AIRA members interested in attending HIMSS19 can take advantage of our collaborator discount. To receive the discount, go to the conference website and select “Register Now.” Select AIRA from the “Conference Collaborating Organizations” drop-down in the registration process and enter the code “COLLABH19.”

Recent Information Requests Added to the AIRA Repository

A recent Information Request regarding receiving birth/death files from Vital Statistics has been added to the AIRA repository and can be found by using the “Information Requests” filter. Information Requests are viewable only by individual members and individuals affiliated with member and partner organizations. Just log in to view these valuable resources! If you have any questions, please email the membership coordinator, Amanda Branham.

Steering Committee Updates: January Recap

Assessment Steering Committee

  • The ASC meets quarterly, and the next meeting is scheduled for March 5, 2019. 

Education Steering Committee

  • The Education Steering Committee met on January 19, and PHII presented findings from a gap analysis it conducted on its courses.
  • The ESC continued discussing objectives for the 2019 Education Plan and reviewed the 2017 Education Survey in preparation for this year’s survey.
  • The committee also was updated on the status of 2019 National Meeting planning.
  • The ESC is hosting a webinar on Monday, February 11 at 1 p.m. ET to introduce the new guide, Onboarding Consensus-Based Recommendations. You can register for the webinar here.
Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee
  • The Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC) met on January 9 and reviewed Promoting Interop Checklist, AIRA’s draft comments on the ONC report on reducing provider burden and draft guidance on sending preferred/contraindication vaccine OBX segments.  
  • The SISC continued to discuss birth sex, administrative sex, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • The committee also went over its 2019 workplan and will vote on that during the February meeting.
  • The SISC Technical Workgroup met on January 30 to receive an update on the non-binary gender discussion with the HL7 Vocabulary Workgroup and an introduction to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

MIROW Steering Committee

  • The Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW) Steering Committee (SC) met on January 17 and the new MIROW topic (business continuity), the status of the MIROW subgroup projects, and discussed the turnaround document for the MIROW session at the AIRA National Meeting.
  • The MIROW Small Group is currently drafting a detailed outline of the Business Continuity Guide and planning for the subject matter expert face-to-face meeting in February.
  • Three MIROW subgroups continue to work, respectively, on repackaging past guides, creating a common vocabulary document for all MIROW guides, and promoting the work of MIROW.
    • In the January meeting, the SC decided that the repackaged Patient Active/Inactive Status (PAIS) guide was ready to proceed to the copy editing and design phase of the project.
    • The Promotional Workgroup met on January 18 to discuss abstracts to promote MIROW at the AIRA National Meeting and the AMIA Symposium in 2019.
  • The SC determined it would incorporate reviewing the feedback from the MIROW session into its regular processes. For example, the feedback is being referenced while planning for next year’s AIRA National Meeting session and was used when reviewing the repackaged PAIS guide.