In honor of World Immunization Week, we’re taking a look back at advancements in and challenges of immunization data reporting that STChealth has faced during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
STChealth currently works with four of the top 10 U.S. Fortune 500 companies to support their employee and customer immunization efforts. Through the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for timely and accurate COVID-19 vaccine reporting has become a key to increasing the uptake of the new coronavirus vaccines. All U.S. COVID-19 vaccines administered by providers from public health, clinical care, pharmacy, and mass immunization sites are reported to the appropriate Public Health Immunization Information Systems (IIS).
STC operates a national immunization health information exchange. Ever since the first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine became available to the public on December 14, 2021, STChealth’s network has managed and reported nearly 50 million vaccines to public health systems across the country.
Nick Harrah, an STChealth data exchange expert, said, “The challenge for all providers has been to quickly and efficiently implement electronic reporting from their facilities to public health systems—allowing them to report COVID-19 patient vaccines within 72 hours. As more providers enrolled in programs to provide vaccines, the demand increased exponentially to report electronically.”
Nick continued, “There is a formal process to ensure the highest data quality as you simply cannot accept just any record. As soon as you do, someone is asking why the data is incomplete or inaccurate. You are better off when they ask ‘How soon I will see this data?’”
“This process has been in place since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act,” said Michael Popovich, CEO of STChealth. He added, “Thankfully it has proven to create high quality data within the IIS. The increased reporting demand stretches resources to test and ensure each individual connection is up to the highest standards.”
“A pandemic technology win,” Mr. Popovich continued, “has been this infrastructure and point-to-point provider connection. Public health and the provider community have worked hard nearly 24 hours a day to facilitate this electronic reporting. Over 50 million records have been reported through the STChealth network. This is a way the top companies in the Fortune 500 and others can create alliances with public health, providers and STChealth to protect those that work and those that they serve.”