Sarah Lock, a Nurse Practitioner and QuadMed’s Population Health Excellence Specialist, said being able to “connect” to state immunization registries is important not only to meet state requirements for reporting, but also to provide the highest quality care to our patients.
“Without an interface to these registries, the process for verifying and documenting immunizations is more cumbersome,” she said. “There’s also an increased risk for errors as a result of the manual data entry.”
Today, patients may receive common immunizations from multiple providers across the community or from a local pharmacy. Without easy and reliable access to state registry data, Lock said providers may not know that a patient has already received a flu vaccine, or perhaps needed to have an additional measles, mumps, or rubella booster. Without complete and accurate information, providers run the risk of readministering a certain vaccine or ordering laboratory testing for immunity when it is unnecessary.
“No one wants to put a patient through unnecessary testing or extra vaccinations. We don’t want patients to bear additional costs because of the administration of unnecessary vaccines either,” she said. “So, when we can interface with the registries straight through our EHR, it saves a lot of time and resources.”
In addition, Lock added, access to immunization data also provides critical information for her own work in enhancing the health and wellbeing of the different populations QuadMed serves.
“We have a population registry that lets us know how we are doing with preventative screenings, chronic conditions, and immunizations,” she said. “We also need immunization data for our quality metric reporting. It’s very important to us that we’re providing our patients with the highest quality care — a simple interface that allows easy access to immunization information is vital.”