HLN's Open Source Immunization Forecaster Receives 2017 Upshot Award

Press Release | HLN Consulting | June 12, 2017

Innovative open source software, originally developed for public health, is freely available to EHR and PHR systems to support clinical decision support for immunizations.

PALM DESERT, Calif. - June 12, 2017 - PRLog -- On June 6, 2017, HLN was awarded the 2017 Upshot Award for Excellence in Vaccine Supply, Access, and Use by the US Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) for its ICE Open Source Immunization Forecaster. In the letter of award, Dr. Jewel Mullen, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health commented that,

"HLN Consulting's efforts on the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) are impressive. This powerful tool-including its open-source nature and seamless integration into clinical workflows-holds great promise for improving clinical decision-support and ultimately vaccination rates. Thank you for daring to innovate, collaborate, and lead in an area that is not only complex, but constantly evolving."

The Immunization Calculation Engine, or ICE, is a fully configurable vaccine forecasting/decision support web service tool. Making patient-specific vaccine decisions based on US Government American Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations is a very complex task. It requires translating ACIP recommendations - the detailed rules that examine a patient's immunization history and determine if all vaccinations are valid, and what vaccinations might be missing - into computable language for clinical decision support. ICE evaluates a patient's immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations for the patient. These recommendations are communicated to the clinician at the point of care, as well as the the patient, health department or other users.

Michael Suralik (center) with NVPO OfficialsAmong the many useful and advanced features of ICE is that it includes a Clinical Decision Support Administration Tool. This tool enables subject matter experts to manage ICE rules and configuration without the need for software developers. In addition, ICE has maximum flexibility for supporting multiple schedules (for instance a clinical schedule and a school-compliance schedule), a robust testing tool, and can support implementation at any scale. ICE began as a component of public health Immunization Information Systems which gather and consolidate immunization information within a jurisdiction for public health surveillance and clinical support.

In developing ICE, HLN worked with the New York City Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the OpenCDS collaboration which is led by researchers at the University of Utah, Department of Biomedical Informatics. ICE is now in use, or being configured for use, by several governmental Immunization Information Systems, electronic health record (EHR) systems including VistA at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the CareDox personal health record. Other EHRs, personal health record (PHR) systems, and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) can be easily adapted to incorporate ICE logic and clinical decision support into their systems.

Michael Suralik, one of HLN's project managers, was on hand to receive the award at the meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee in Washington, DC. Mr. Suralik will also discuss ICE in a presentation at the upcoming Open Source Health Record Alliance (OSHERA) 2017 Open Source Summit this week in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Noam H. Arzt, President of HLN, remarked, "HLN is pleased to accept this award on behalf of the ICE project." Arzt stated:

"While HLN has been the lead organization in this joint effort, we consider ICE to be a community effort of interested public health organizations, clinical users, and software developers. This project would not be a success without ongoing cooperation between these participants. ICE is an important product for the immunization community. It is collaboratively developed, maintained, and supported yet is freely available for use. We hope ICE can gain a broad acceptance not only here in the US but across the world."

This summer HLN plans to launch a new community governance process to provide an unbiased review of ICE rules and content and to make recommendations about the future direction of the product.

About HLN

For more than twenty years HLN has been a leading public health informatics consulting company focused on developing and supporting robust technical solutions addressing pressing public health needs. HLN is dedicated to the development, improvement, promulgation, and use of Open Source solutions in health information technology. Much of our Open Source work is focused on clinical decision support (CDS) applications built using OpenCDS, an open source clinical decision support platform, including our Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) and Reportable Condition Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) which is supporting the national strategy of electronic case reporting to public health. RCKMS is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and deployed centrally to determine if a patient's symptoms and conditions require reporting to one or more public health jurisdictions.

More information on HLN Consulting and its open source products can be found at https://www.hln.com.

Contact
Noam H. Arzt, Ph.D.
President, HLN Consulting, LLC
858-538-2220
arzt@hln.com