SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance has developed and launched a new quality measurement initiative, aimed at narrowing gaps in measurement and reporting for adult immunizations. The PQA Adult Immunization Task Force will convene regularly over the next 12- to 18-month period.
The task force recently assembled in Arlington, Va., on June 17 for its initial in-person meeting. The meeting received wide participation and consisted of a broad group of stakeholders, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Immunization Action Coalition, American Immunization Registry Association, national and state pharmacy associations, national pharmacy chains, independent pharmacists, academia, health plans and technology companies.
"As long as gaps in pharmacy-based immunization measurement and reporting remain, the ability of population health professionals to meet population prevention and wellness goals will continue to be called into question," said PQA executive director Laura Cranston. "The organization of this task force presents a significant opportunity to address these gaps and offer solutions for overcoming current barriers."
Two co-chairs are leading this effort — Mitchel Rothholz, chief strategy officer at the American Pharmacists Association, and Jeff Goad, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Chapman University School of Pharmacy. PQA's director of Quality Strategies, Sam Stolpe, is the staff liaison for the task force.
At the recent meeting, the task force worked together to identify and address a variety of challenges within existing and proposed immunization reporting standards. The discussion focused on developing best practice recommendations and identifying measure concept work areas that will be implementable within the pharmacy practice setting, and that are translatable to other healthcare settings. The group formulated several recommendations for methods that will allow for better data capture through utilization of registries and standardization of documentation. Key work areas identified by the task force were prioritized, and will be the topic of the task force's ongoing telephonic efforts moving forward.
The task force has emphasized the need to align with priority areas addressed through other national-level organizations, such as the National Quality Forum Adult Immunization Committee, ACIP guidelines and NVAC standards.
The task force will next convene in person at a meeting to be held in the first quarter of next year. The measures concepts developed by the task force will follow the normal PQA measure development process, with a PQA member endorsement vote to be conducted in the fall of 2015.