On December 5, 2019, Michael Suralik, project manager at HLN, attended The Sequoia Project’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. TEFCA and Information Blocking were the big topics of the day. It was a very substantive meeting and there was vibrant back and forth discussion and exchange of ideas between and among the presenters and the other meeting participants (see this report that summarizes the meeting).
HLN attended the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) 2019 Leadership in Action Conference in New Orleans, LA on December 10-11. Bringing together over 200 Immunization Program Managers, staff, and associated non-profits and vendors, the conference provided leadership training to attendees in a number of areas as well as regional sessions to discuss issues important to Immunization Program activities. AIM also celebrated its 20th anniversary at the event. HLN was again a Bronze sponsor of the conference. “We feel it’s critically important to continue to support events such as these,” commented Dr. Noam Arzt, president of HLN who attended the meeting, “It’s essential that public health officials have the opportunity to discuss issues in common, and to learn from each other.”
In November 2019 the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a new report, Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing HHS. Divided into six major sections, this report reviews the OIG’s observations with respect to financial integrity of HHS programs, value and quality, protecting the health and safety of beneficiaries as well as the public at large, harnessing data to achieve these goals, and working across government.
On October 15, 2019, HLN released a new version (v1.21.1) of the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a state-of-the-art open-source software system that provides clinical decision support for immunizations for use in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems.
This version includes important updates including:
- Updated HPV rules as per the June 2019 ACIP approved recommendations, including a harmonized recommendation for catch-up vaccination for males and females through age 26 years and recommendation based on shared clinical decision making for individuals aged 27 through 45 years who are not adequately vaccinated.
- Slight change to the way the dose number included in the vMR output is determined.
- A duplicate shot/same day fix whereby a non-combination shot might be selected instead of the combination shot.
The full software release is available for download at https://cdsframework.atlassian.net/wiki/display/ICE/Downloads. A revised ICE Implementation Guide is also available. The ICE code systems and codes are now accessible in Google Sheets as an added convenience. These are the codes as those in the Implementation Guide. The codes will be updated in both the places.
See the feature article about ICE in Open Health News.
Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the final report from its Patient Matching, Aggregation, and Linking (PMAL) Project, as well as an additional report describing a pilot project to test the Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework (PDDQ) to Support Patient Matching that was released several years ago. Funded from June 2015 through September 2018 by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Trust Fund, PMAL was one of the activities I described in an earlier blog entry.
The Final Report reviews the four challenged of patient matching and linking that the PMAL project attempted to address: