A Model for Sustaining and Investing in Immunization Information Systems

Michael Popovich, Todd Watkins, Belinda Baker


In the past three years, Scientific Technologies Corporation electronically sent one-hundred fifty million retail pharmacy patient immunization events to state and community public health immunization information systems. Today, as a conservative estimate, over 85% of the U.S. population has an immunization record in an electronic health information system. Health technology, data exchange and increasing online patient health records offer consumers, providers and the immunization community new platforms to proactively identify vaccine coverage gaps. As the value of online immunization information increases, the cost to sustain and leverage these new technologies escalates.   

Online immunization records and integrated decision support tools are being used extensively from the pharmacy to the emergency room. They are moving from health data vaults with few users to more ubiquitous point of care services and direct consumer engagement.  The data and the supporting technology infrastructure empower the community within the immunization ecosystem. To use this opportunity to reduce the impact of vaccine preventable disease on populations, investment in sustaining and modernizing existing immunization health technology systems suggest models to articulate their value and return on investment.

This paper illustrates cost and technology drivers that impact sustainability and modernization of the immunization information system infrastructure. It provides a model to support investment priority decisions and estimate costs. It reviews the technical evolution of public health immunization registries and their current legacy state providing a pathway to migrate to opportunistic third generation technology platforms. It will answer: How much should be budgeted? What can this budget achieve over the next five years? What investments should be prioritized? Is there opportunity for public-private partnerships to support sustainment cost sharing?

It shows that an investment of fifty-million will modernize a quarter of the current second generation immunization systems and support the remainder over the next five years.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v11i2.10243

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org