Year of Publication
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration
Master of Public Administration
Immunizations are essential to societal health and wellbeing. Throughout one’s lifespan, immunizations are to be administered incrementally to decrease the prevalence of preventable diseases. Despite this, there are disparities in the rates of vaccinations across the country. Numerous guidelines and regulations have been published regarding the administration and scheduling of vaccines. Certain vaccinations are mandatory in order to be able to attend school or hold certain occupational positions and normally proof of administration is required.
Immunization registries were created to monitor and record patient-specific data about administered vaccines. These confidential reporting systems were developed to improve population health by allowing for the surveillance of vaccine compliance, disease prevention, and missed opportunities. While some regulations surround individual state registries, most states do not require vaccine reporting by the majority of healthcare providers. The Kentucky Immunization Registry (KIR) requires the reporting of only specific administered vaccines. This reporting gap leaves a large amount of data out of the system. The intent of the immunization registry is to improve vaccination rates, but unless data is submitted to the registry, its full potential cannot be achieved. The purpose of the research is to assess pharmacists' views of the KIR and to determine if there is a need to further increase vaccination reporting requirements.
Out of the 1,000 pharmacists randomly selected to complete a survey, there was a response rate of 142. Pharmacists, on average, agreed that they were in favor of increasing KIR reporting requirements. On average, pharmacists reported being unfamiliar with the KIR, but this did not have a significant impact on how pharmacists responded to questions concerning increasing KIR reporting. It was also discovered that pharmacists who were neutral in opinion or disagreed with the current reporting requirements of the KIR appeared to be more unfamiliar with the KIR compared to other groups. The respondents regarded missed opportunities and preventable diseases as important issues in Kentucky. Those who believed these were important issues also slightly agreed that mandating the KIR would improve missed opportunities and preventable disease rates.
Immunization registries are becoming more prevalent in today’s healthcare community. Despite this, unfamiliarity with the KIR is still present. Satisfaction with the current reporting requirements is neutral among those surveyed, but a need for reporting all vaccines to the registry is observed. Surveyed pharmacists, on average, viewed missed opportunities and preventable diseases as issues in Kentucky, but mandating immunization reporting to the KIR as a possible solution for improving rates only received slight support. Implications of these findings suggest that there is a need for increased education and training on the KIR to increase reporting.
Lewis, Lindsey, "Assessment of the Current Reporting Requirements of the Kentucky Immunization Registry" (2017). MPA/MPP Capstone Projects. 277.