Ohio’s ImpactSIIS Vaccine Database
As flu season approaches, it is important to discuss not only the flu vaccine, but all CDC recommended vaccines. Most pharmacists know how difficult accessing vaccine history can be. Having a centralized database of vaccine history within each state, or nationwide, would help identify and rectify vaccine gaps.
Luckily, for pharmacists in Ohio, one exists. ImpactSIIS is the Statewide Immunization Information System that has existed since the 1980s. Unfortunately, ImpactSIIS 1.0 lacked interoperability with many computer systems and healthcare providers would have to double-enter the information into both their own records and then ImpactSIIS. Thankfully, ImpactSIIS 2.0 is now up and running and is compatible with other computer systems, electronic health records (EHRs), and some dispensing software that has EHR capabilities.
You or your practice site can register for access to ImpactSIIS through the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Public Health Reporting Enrollment website (https://ohioimpactsiis.org/siisprod/). Registering with ImpactSIS is important if you want to administer COVID-19 vaccine because most of the vaccines in clinical trials require two vaccinations 21 to 28 days apart. The ODH website has several short training videos available at https://www.ohiopublichealthreporting.info/PMS/FileSystem/Articles/ImpactSIIS%20Virtual%20Training.docx.
Once registered, you may need to contact your EHR/dispensing software vendor to integrate this web-based application into your system. The ODH website also includes information on connectivity with computer systems using HL7 to eliminate double entry — one in the pharmacy system and one in ImpactSIIS. If this is not feasible, you can use ImpactSIIS as your primary mode of recording and accessing patient immunization records.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently increased pharmacists’ ability to give vaccines by allowing administration of childhood vaccines to individuals ages three though 18 years. This is a testament to the importance of vaccines and an increased focus on preventive health and risk reduction. Pharmacists should not only administer vaccines, but also educate patients on the importance of vaccines, one of our most vital public health tools in the fight to keep our communities healthy.