Georgia Tech

Keskinocak Works with CDC on Immunization Improvements

Dec 19, 2011 | Atlanta, GA

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  • Pinar Keskinocak

For More Information Contact

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
404.385.3102

Pinar Keskinocak, the Joseph C. Mello Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Associate Director of Research for the Health Systems Institute, and the co-director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics, has been serving on the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Expert Panel, The Immunization Information Systems Support Branch (IISSB) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since April 2011. The goal of this panel is to improve the accuracy and consistency of clinical decision support provided by Immunization Information Systems (IIS) to healthcare providers for evaluating and scheduling patients’ immunizations.

As of December 31, 2008, 52 CDC Immunization Program grantees reported that approximately 18 million (75%) U.S. children aged <6 years, 23.3 million adolescents 11-18 years (65%), and 53.9 million adults >19 years (24%) participated in an Immunization Information System (IIS).  Given the widespread IIS participation (also from public and private provider sites), it is important that each patient’s immunization records are consistent and transparent within each IIS.

Clinical decision support tools provided by IISs automatically determine the routine childhood immunization(s) needed, in compliance with current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, including age for vaccine administration, number of doses and dosing interval, and precautions and contraindications. However, sometimes there may be subtle differences in the interpretation of the ACIP recommendations among the different IIS. In an effort to harmonize clinical decision support tools and improve timeliness, the CDS expert panel advises the development of an ACIP-approved clinical decision support blueprint (business rules and logic) for each vaccine on the children’s immunization schedule.  Panel recommendations will be consensus-based and can be implemented in IIS, with the goal of providing a common clinical decision support logic to all IISs. In addition, this activity will also help ensure that a patient’s up-to-date status is consistent and available to every clinical practice using an IIS no matter where the practice is located in the United States.

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