PCC EHR follows the CDC’s Meaningful Use HL7 implementation guidelines, allowing us to interface with most of the 56 immunization registries across the country. Historically, these registries have had their own set of immunization guidelines and implementation rules. However, state by state, they are now moving towards using a single national standard for immunization data.
Different registries may implement these guidelines in slightly different ways, but the instructions below are suitable for every registry. The CDC uses data from the registries to inform decisions on public health policy.
How to Get Started
Contact Your Immunization Registry and PCC
To begin this process, you will need to communicate with your immunization registry.
We Can Help: Contact PCC Support at 1-800-722-1082 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you reach the appropriate registry and perform the setup and configuration steps below.
Review Your CVX and MVX Codes
CVX and MVX codes are part of the HL7 standard used by the CDC, and are required for submitting accurate immunization information. You must enter these codes in Partner before submitting your data.
Turn On Immunization Registry Communication Preferences
For each patient, your practice must collect immunization communication preferences, in the event the registry wishes to contact the family. PCC EHR sets those communication preferences in the Communication Preferences component.
If they are not already visible in the Demographics section of the patient’s chart, you may need to turn on the Immunization Communication Preference fields.
First, open Component Builder inside the Protocol Configuration editor.
Next, edit the Communication Preferences component and adjust which preferences appear in the component.
In the event that your immunization registry requests that you include a patient status with your vaccine record submissions, you can enable the Patient Immunization Registry Status field within the Communication Preferences component.
This field will allow you to record a patient status for submission to your immunization registry in accordance with the registry’s guidelines.
Use the Lot Manager
The HL7 standard requires lot number and expiration dates for all vaccine data.
Always use the Lot Manager in the Immunization Configuration tool to maintain up-to-date lot information. Lot numbers and expiration dates must be entered for all vaccine inventory.
Optional: Configure PCC to Automatically Add a Custodian as Personal Contact
The HL7 standard requires a Personal Contact for each patient. Your practice can add the Personal Contact in the Demographics component of a patient’s chart. You can optionally use the Practice Preferences to configure PCC to automatically add the custodian as a personal contact when a new patient record is created.
Optional: Add Demographics Components to Chart Notes
The HL7 standard requires that every patient record include an Immunization Communication Preference and a Personal Contact. Your practice can update that information during a visit on the Demographics screen in PCC EHR.
Optionally, you can use the Protocol Configuration Tool to add the Communication Preferences component and/or the Personal Contacts component to chart notes, particularly new patient chart notes.
Collecting The Right Data
At every encounter where immunizations are administered, your practice must collect the required information for the registry.
Read the steps below to learn how to collect all required immunization-related information for the HL7 standard.
Assign a Clinician to the Encounter
A clinician with an NPI must be assigned to every visit. If your practice schedules visits for “Nurse”, for example, then during the visit you should change the provider in the Appointment Details section of the chart note to a real clinician.
For Every Patient, Collect Race and Ethnicity
Review and update race and ethnicity information during each visit. You can enter it in the Demographics section of the patient’s chart.
As with other components in PCC EHR, your office could add the Patient Demographics section to any chart note ribbon.
Review Immunization Registry Communication Preferences
You must review and fill out the Immunization Communication Preference for each patient.
For each patient, permission to share immunization information with the registry must be set to either “Yes” or “No”.
The “Immunization Registry Communication Preferences” question appears in the Communication Preferences component, which appears by default in the Demographics section of the patient’s chart. Your practice could also use the Protocol Configuration tool to add the Communication Preferences component to a chart note, the standard phone note, or the Medical Summary.
Preferred Contact Method: Some registries (such as CAIR in California) state that the secondary “Preferred Contact Method” field must be sent to the registry if it is collected, but the field may be empty. From past experience with immunization registries, PCC recommends that all practices, regardless of state, fill this field with the patient or family’s contact preferences for information related to immunization registries. For example, if the family does not wish to be contacted, select “No Reminders and No Recalls”.
Patient Immunization Registry Status: Some registries require that a patient status be included with vaccine record submissions. You can meet this requirement by enabling the Patient Immunization Registry Status field in the Communication Preferences component and recording patients’ status there. The Patient Immunization Registry Status is independent from the patient and account flags on your PCC system. If you have the Patient Immunization Registry Status field enabled, you must manually ensure that it reflects patients’ status with your practice. Contact PCC Support to speak with an immunization registry support specialist who can help you use this field in accordance with your registry’s guidelines.
Review and Update Patient’s Personal Contacts
During each visit, review and update the patient’s Personal Contact. The Personal Contact component appears in the Demographics section of the patient’s chart. A contact is required by the HL7 standard.
For Every Patient, Fill Out VFC Eligibility During Each Visit
You must state whether or not a patient was eligible for VFC for every shot administered. PCC EHR can’t determine that for you, but it can provide your clinicians with all the information they need to determine eligibility and display a tool for assigning it quickly.
Train your staff to review the information and select VFC eligibility status during each visit.
Last Answer: At the patient’s next visit, PCC EHR will remember the patient’s previous VFC eligibility status. They can click “Last Answer” to enter it for all immunization orders.
Complete the Required Fields on the Immunization Component in the Chart Note
When recording immunization administration, you must fill out the VFC, Dose, Lot #, VIS, VIS Given date, Route, and Site fields per immunization.
When you are enter historical immunizations, be sure to select a “Source” from the dropdown.
Bidirectional Immunization Registry Interfaces
Certain practices now have the ability to retrieve immunization records on demand from their state registry right within PCC EHR.
This feature is being rolled out one registry at a time and is currently available to practices in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Wyoming.
If you are interested in being able to use this feature once it becomes available in your state, contact PCC Support.