Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PALM DESERT, Calif. - Aug 02, 2017 - HLN Consulting has released a new version of the award winning Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a service-oriented, standards-based immunization forecasting software system that evaluates a patient’s immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations. ICE can be used in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Records (EHR), Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems.
The release includes changes to the rules for several vaccine series, including Polio, Meningococcal ACWY, and Influenza. Release notes for this software distribution are available which describe the above changes to the vaccine group logic in more detail. Implementers should refer to the new ICE Implementation Guide (v2r14) when making adjustments to be compatible with this latest release, including the new Pneumococcal vaccine group as well as a few other vaccine and evaluation reason codes that have been added (a “track changes” version of the guide is also available to make it easy to see what has changed since the last release).
The Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE)
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 patient, health department or other users.
Earlier this year, HLN was awarded the 2017 Upshot Award for Excellence in Vaccine Supply, Access, and Use by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) for its work on 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.”
Among 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.
According to Dr. Noam H. Arzt, President, HLN Consulting, LLC, the development of ICE involves strong collaboration 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. “These public health agencies have a real commitment to Open Source, and we are able to build upon this commitment to make ICE and its related products available to anyone,” Arzt said. 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 U.S. 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.
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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 (http://www.cste.org/group/RCKMS) (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.
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