Perceptions of immunization information systems for collecting pandemic H1N1 immunization data within Canada's public health community: A qualitative study
1 Department of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, Toronto, Canada
2 University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
3 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
4 Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada
5 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
6 Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
7 Direction de santé publique de Montréal, Vigie et protection, Montréal, Canada
8 Département des sciences de la santé communautaire, Université de Sherbrooke, Longueuil, Canada
9 Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Montréal, Canada
10 Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie, Longueuil, Canada
11 Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Charles LeMoyne, Longueuil, Canada
12 School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
13 Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Canada
14 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
BMC Public Health 2010, 10:523 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-523Published: 31 August 2010
Immunization information systems (IISs) are electronic registries used to monitor individual vaccination status and assess vaccine coverage. IISs are currently not widely used across Canada, where health jurisdictions employ a range of approaches to capture influenza immunization information. Conducted in advance of the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign, the objectives of this study were to understand the perceived value of individual-level data and IISs for influenza control, identify ideal system functions, and explore barriers to implementation.
In July and August 2009, semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants engaged in vaccine delivery and/or pandemic planning at regional, provincial/territorial and federal levels across Canada. Key informants were recruited using a combination of convenience and snowball sampling methodologies. Qualitative analysis was used to extract themes from interview content.
Patient management, assessment of vaccine coverage, and evaluation of safety and effectiveness were identified as public health priorities that would be achieved in a more timely manner, and with greater accuracy, through the use of an IIS. Features described as ideal included system flexibility, rapid data entry, and universality. Financial and human resource constraints as well as coordination between immunization providers were expressed as barriers to implementation.
IISs were perceived as valuable by key informants for strengthening management capacity and improving evaluation of both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccination campaigns. However, certain implementation restrictions may need to be overcome for these benefits to be achieved.