The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines a disease/immunization registry as "a tool for tracking the clinical care and outcomes of a defined patient population."1 Disease/immunization registries are often used to support patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, or asthma. You should look for disease/immunization registry functionality when selecting or upgrading to a certified EHR. Additionally, you can look for electronic health record (EHR) systems that allow providers to create internal registries for clinical diagnostics, medication efficacy, and quality improvement. Some specific functions that registries provide include:
- Printed patient reports
- Progress reports
- Registry-generated exception reports
- Stratified population reports2
Why It Matters
Disease/immunization registries can help you improve quality by:
- Supporting patient compliance by flagging missed appointments and/or overdue immunizations
- Identifying and managing panels of patients
- Using filters to identify patients most in need of intervention
- Developing clinician reports
- Managing patient follow up
- Generating care-planning tools for individual patients.
All these features foster enhanced care coordination, better health care, and improved patient outcomes.
In a meaningful use case study, Dr. Christopher Tashjian, a specialist in family medicine practicing in rural Ellsworth, Wisconsin, explains how he is using his electronic health record (EHR) to share immunization records automatically with the state of Wisconsin’s immunization registry. Armed with this "new great data," Dr. Tashjian is planning to "contact patients with heart disease and diabetes who have not received the flu vaccine and advise them to come in and get a ‘flu shot.’" For Dr. Tashjian, connectivity to an immunization registry means better health care for his patients.
For More Information
For more information about disease/immunization registries, see the following resources.