Testing & Discovery

Testing and Discovery, the initial stage in the Measurement and Improvement (M&I) Initiative, serves to gather preliminary and general information on community alignment with Immunization Information System (IIS) Functional Standards

Testing and Discovery has been underway since mid-2015 and was designed with the following key outcomes in mind, while acknowledging flexibility within the standard to accommodate local legal and policy requirements that can add additional requirements and contrasts between IIS:

  • Provides a mechanism for IIS programs to better understand how their system operates in the context of community-wide standards.
  • Highlights potential gaps in current standards that the Standards & Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC) can further explore and address
  • Identifies specific test cases and procedures that would be appropriate for the IIS community.

In addition, the Testing and Discovery process has several major benefits for the community:

  • IIS programs immediately receive feedback on their systems from an independent, third-party perspective.
  • The IIS can give feedback (both positive and constructive) about the testing process, which AIRA can review and incorporate into its ongoing improvement efforts.
  • Aggregate performance data among participating IIS helps MACAW determine potential areas that need further discussion to establish or refine common standards.

The Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool (AART) is used to compile and display measures and test results for all stages of the M&I initiative. There are eight content areas currently available for Testing and Discovery:

  1. Transport
  2. Submission/Acknowledgment
  3. Query/Response
  4. Data Quality Incoming/Ongoing
  5. Clinical Decision Support (CDS)
  6. Data at Rest (DAR)
  7. Provider Participation - NEW!
  8. HL7 Patient Matching - NEW!
Join T&D today!

Provider Participation

This content area focuses on measuring the completeness of IIS enrollment and data submission among provider organizations within a specific jurisdiction. The key measures in this area are derived from CDC’s Immunization Information Systems (IIS) Data Quality Blueprint and IIS Functional Standards 1.4 and 9.1.

The initial target group for measurement includes Vaccines for Children (VFC) providers in each IIS jurisdiction. Participation in this content area requires no action by jurisdictions as testing utilizes jurisdictional VFC provider data from the Immunization Information Systems Annual Report (IISAR) and the Vaccine Tracking System (VTrckS) shipment data for the corresponding assessment year.

Preliminary comparison data will be available in AART beginning August 2023. This data may help IIS identify gaps as well as enable IIS and immunization programs to inform policy development and data quality improvement strategies.

HL7 Patient Matching

Patient matching is the process of identifying and linking a patient’s data across different health systems to create a comprehensive view of their health care record. This content area tests an IIS’s ability to match records with name, address, and other key field variations across different HL7 messages. Testing will focus on sending demographic changes within vaccination messages (VXUs) to the IIS and then querying it to validate matches. The test cases in this area are informed by CDC’s Immunization Information Systems Patient-Level De-Deduplication Best Practices and IIS Functional Standards 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4.

Initial Testing and Discovery reports will be available in AART on July 31. These reports may help IIS identify opportunities to improve patient matching. IIS participating in M&I will be automatically opted into this new area based on their participation and sharing settings. We welcome comments from IIS as they review their reports regarding the test case scenarios and expectations. Please send comments to [email protected].

Additional Resources

Updated: 7/19/23