Monthly Update

 September 2018 in Review

In This Issue...

  1. AIRA Elects New Board Members
  2. Save the Date: #AIRA2019
  3. Slides from 2018 AIRA National Meeting Now Available
  4. AIRA Publishes Guidance on Identifying Immunization Pockets of Need Using Small Area Analysis 
  5. Coming This Fall: Clinical Decision Support Assessment!
  6. Technical Correction to Influenza Supporting Data Version 3.8 
  7. PHII Launches Welcome to IIS Email Course
  8. National Health IT Week Is October 8–12, 2018
  9. Steering Committee Updates: September Recap

Check Out the AIRA Events Calendar for Upcoming...

AIRA Elects New Board Members

The 2018–2019 AIRA board of directors election results are in! This year, 132 people voted—the highest number of votes cast in recent years. It was also a really close election, with a few candidates being elected by a slim margin.

Aaron Bieringer, Minnesota’s MIIC Interoperability and Technical Lead, was elected as AIRA’s newest president elect. Aaron has worked in immunizations for nine years and is incredibly engaged in AIRA. He serves as a co-chair of the Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW) and participates in several groups, including the Joint Development and Implementation (JDI) Advisory Workgroup, Message Quality Evaluation (MQE) user group, Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC), and AIRA board. Aaron believes one quality that will make him a great president is his “willingness to look at discussions from multiple points of view and act in the best interest of the IIS community.” 

AIRA’s newest treasurer will be Heather Roth, deputy immunization branch chief and IIS manager for Colorado. Heather serves as co-chair of Assessment Steering Committee (ASC) and has participated in several workgroups to develop ASC guides. Heather knows “the challenges (and triumphs!) of operating an IIS” and is excited to represent AIRA’s vision and mission on the board. 

AIRA will welcome three new voting directors to the board this November: Nathalie Hartert, the IIS director for the Tennessee Immunization Program; Jeffrey McIntyre, the IIS manager for the Mississippi Immunization Program; and Christy Gray, the director of the Division of Immunization for the Virginia Department of Health. Each of these new directors brings a variety of expertise to the board, including over 45 years of collective experience in immunization, IIS, and information technology.

Steve Murchie, CEO of Envision Technology Partners, was elected as an AIRA Non-Voting Director. Steve acquired Envision with his wife Claire in 2011 and, prior to this, spent over 20 years in the computer software industry. Steve serves on the JDI Advisory Workgroup and is a co-chair of the Address Cleansing and Geocoding User Group. Steve wrote on his candidate information, “While I represent a particular vendor, I’ve been a career-long proponent of industry associations that serve all the participants in a sector. Doing so, I have learned to set aside vested interest and focus on the overall success of all parties involved.” 

New AIRA board terms will begin November 1. Congratulations to all of our new officers and directors and a huge thank you to our outgoing officers and directors.

Save the Date: #AIRA2019

The AIRA 2019 National Meeting will be Tuesday, August 13 through Thursday, August 15, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Slides from 2018 AIRA National Meeting Now Available

AIRA 2018 National Meeting presentation slides are now available in the AIRA repositoryFind presentations easily by filtering on “National Meeting Presentations” and “2018.” You can also view the presentations by visiting the National Meeting page of the AIRA website, selecting the full meeting agenda, and clicking on listed presentations of interest.

Please note: While the presentation slides provide an outline of presentations given at the AIRA 2018 National Meeting, they cannot substitute for being part of the live oral commentary and discussion that occurred.

AIRA Publishes Guidance on Identifying Immunization Pockets of Need Using Small Area Analysis 

AIRA recently published a guide on identifying pockets of need using small area analysis. The guide includes:

  • An overview of pockets of need and small area analysis using IIS data
  • A step-by-step process for using small area analysis to find pockets of need
  • Practical tips for assessing data quality issues that may impact identifying pockets of need
  • Strategies on when and how to respond to identified pockets of need

The guide also includes examples from a variety of IIS throughout the country that are using their IIS data to identify pockets of need through small area analysis. By finding pockets of need, immunization programs can strategically use limited resources and prevent or control vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Responses may include performing other analyses to confirm the pocket of need, conducting outreach, or making the data broadly available.

We hope this guide will be a valuable resource to those interested in identifying pockets of need using their IIS data. A warm thank you to the AIRA Assessment Steering Committee and the workgroup members who helped develop the guide.

Coming This Fall: Clinical Decision Support Assessment!

Did you know there are roughly 750 to 800 Clinical Decision Support for Immunization (CDSi) test cases that will be used for Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Assessment?

That is about 10 times more test cases than Transport, Submission/Acknowledgement, and Query/Response Assessment combined. AIRA and the members of the Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW) are excited to report that the development for CDS Assessment is on schedule and is almost at your fingertips. AIRA technical staff will start Testing and Discovery using existing HL7 connections in October, followed by Assessment in November/December. Please note that the initial assessment results will not include thresholds for “Fully Meets” or “Deviates”. These first-run results will help to inform the recommendations on thresholds that MACAW plans to present to the AIRA board for approval in November. 

What is being measured?
Testing and Discovery
• Evaluation Status (e.g., valid, not valid)
• Earliest Date
• Recommended Date
• Past-Due Date
• Series Status (e.g., not complete, complete, too old)

• Evaluation Status (e.g., valid, not valid)
• Earliest Date
• Recommended Date

Click here for more information about CDS Measures and Tests.

Please contact Kristi Siahaya with any questions or comments.

Technical Correction to Influenza Supporting Data Version 3.8 

The CDSi project has issued a technical correction to its Influenza Supporting Data Version 3.8. Corrections were made to the allowable age range for LAIV and intradermal vaccines. The updated supporting data can be found on the CDSi home page. Questions can be sent to Eric Larson.

PHII Launches Welcome to IIS Email Course

Do you need to strengthen your new IIS employee orientation materials? Or are you taking on more managerial or administrative responsibilities and want to learn more about how IIS are staffed and operated? PHII’s new flagship course, Welcome to IIS, has the answers you’re looking for. 

This 18-day email course builds foundational knowledge of IIS in bite-sized daily emails (Monday through Friday only). In less than 10 minutes a day, learn what IIS are, how they work, and how they’re supported. Each email includes resources and activities so you can apply what you learn to your own organization. 

Whether you’re new to IIS or just need a refresher in how it all fits together, the Welcome to IIS course is designed to fit your needs. To start the course, sign up now at and you’ll receive the first email right away. It’s completely free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

National Health IT Week Is October 8–12, 2018

The Annual National Health IT Week is October 8–12!

Join in support of this nationwide awareness week focused on the value of health IT for the US health care system. There is no better time for the health IT community to come together under one umbrella to raise national awareness! Immunization programs can get involved with National Health IT Week by signing up to be a partner, sharing stories about the value of health IT on social media using the hashtag #IHEARTHIT, and connecting with the local Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) chapter.

For more information on National Health IT Week, HIMSS, and how to participate, click here.

Steering Committee Updates: September Recap

Assessment Steering Committee

  • The Assessment Steering Committee (ASC) met on September 4 and received updates on the data quality, message quality evaluation tool, data at rest, and small area analysis projects. 
  • The committee also discussed and voted on four proposed topics for the next coverage assessment project.
  • The ASC meets quarterly. The next meeting is scheduled for December 4.

Education Steering Committee

  • The Education Steering Committee (ESC) met on September 19 and received an update from the Public Health Informatics Institute on its upcoming “Welcome to IIS” email course and immunization evaluation and forecasting eLearning module.
  • The committee provided feedback to the CDC on its early website redesign plans.
  • The ESC reviewed the Education Plan for the next few months and began planning webinars for the next year.
  • The committee looked back at highlights from the AIRA 2018 National Meeting.
  • The newest edition of SnapShots was published at the end of the month.

Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee

  • The Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC) met on September 8 and discussed the Interoperability Standards Advisory and CMS’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recently out for comment.
  • The SISC also navigated the HL7 Implementation Guide currently out for reballot. 
  • The committee discussed technical assistance topics, NK1 relationships, and CVX support.
  • Due to lack of agenda items, the SISC Technical Workgroup did not meet in September.

MIROW Steering Committee

  • The Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW) Steering Committee (SC) met on September 20 and discussed the new MIROW topic (business continuity) and the status of the MIROW subgroup projects, and it reviewed the turnaround document for the MIROW session at the AIRA National Meeting.
  • The MIROW Small Group interviewed several members of the IIS community about their experience with developing and using a business continuity plan, challenges associated with developing a plan, and past disruptions to their IIS operations.
  • 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.