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Lessons from the Americas: PAHO launches toolkit for the introduction of electronic immunization registries

By Robin Mowson, Consultant, PAHO

Jul 2, 2018

Posted in , , ,

Graphic: PAHO. PAHO has released a toolkit designed to support EPI managers and their teams in the implementation of EIR-related information systems.

Evidence suggests that electronic immunization registries (EIRs) are cost effective tools that help increase coverage, improve the timeliness of vaccination, provide reliable data for decision-making, and reduce revaccination by helping to verify and track previous immunizations. Developing an EIR, implementing it at the country level, and, above all, ensuring its sustainability are not easy, fast, or inexpensive processes. However, the experience generated by multiple EIR development projects, and the success of some of those programs, can be used as sources of best practices and provide lessons learned.

Graphic: PAHO. The above graphic depicts the general model of module structure.

Within this context, Electronic Immunization Registry: Practical Considerations for Planning, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation was developed and published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 2017. The chapter content is supported by a literature review about EIR requirements and summarizes the experiences of the countries of the Region of the Americas and other regions that already have EIRs in place, or are at the development and implementation stage.

Many of the experiences presented herein have been shared during the three editions of the “Regional Meeting to Share Lessons Learned in the Development and Implementation of Electronic Individualized Vaccination Registries,” held in Bogotá, Colombia, Brasilia, Brazil, and San José, Costa Rica between 2011 and 2016. The toolkit was also supported by several ad hoc meetings held by PAHO and the World Health Organization, Member States, independent consultants, and other agencies, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PATH, the European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control, and the American Immunization Registry Association, among others.

The main objectives of this toolkit are as follows:

  1. To generate knowledge related to information systems and immunization registries for immunization program managers at the national and subnational levels;
  2. To provide teams, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) managers, and experts in health information systems with relevant background and experiences for development, implementation, maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation of EIR systems, so as to support planning of their implementation;
  3. To provide technical, functional, and operational recommendations that can serve as a basis for discussion and analysis of the standard requirements needed for development and implementation of EIRs in the Region of the Americas and other countries;
  4. To serve as a platform for documentation and sharing of lessons learned and successful experiences in EIR implementation.

This document is designed to support EPI managers and their teams in the implementation of EIR-related information systems, using the various experiences compiled at the global level – and, especially, in the Region of the Americas – as a foundation. The guide is geared toward decision-makers in ministries of health, immunization programs and their managers, and national information and statistics units or departments within Member States, in order to provide support and guidance for the adoption and implementation of electronic immunization registries.

To access the full toolkit, click through the links below:

Electronic Immunization Registry: Practical Considerations for Planning, Development, Implementation and Evaluation

We appreciate the technical and financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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