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Spotlight on Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR)

In This Issue

June/July 2011
VTrckS Connection Newsletter

Considering whether to implement a VTrckS direct entry solution or an ExIS interface with VTrckS? Then review Michigan’s perspective to glean some tips on what worked well for them.

History of MCIR

Michigan launched the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) in 1998. As a custom system developed in-house, MCIR functionality has grown over the last 13 years to balance the needs of providers and accommodate legislature. As of 2011, Michigan's entire provider base is live on MCIR for public vaccine ordering and inventory.

Overall, Michigan took a modular approach to enhancing MCIR over many years. The following timeline captures a brief history of their system.

1998: MCIR goes live.

2002: MCIR transitioned to a web-based environment to improve usability.

2006: The vaccine inventory module was implemented and took three years to implement – 1 year for a needs assessment and 2 years for implementation. The vaccine inventory module was time-consuming and complex because it required health care providers to inventory and track all public vaccine through MCIR. This was a new business practice for them, and it took time to get providers trained and proficient in the inventory process. To aid in this process, MCIR was pre-populated with inventory from McKesson so that providers never had to upload inventory themselves. Providers noted the lot number and expiration date for inventory on hand. In many cases, providers also enhanced their own Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems to interface with MCIR.

2010: The e-ordering module went live. This transition was fairly seamless for providers already performing inventory practices through MCIR. Also in 2010, Michigan built the ExIS interface to VTrckS for data to flow behind-the-scenes between MCIR and VTrckS.

To Build or Not to Build?

Michigan chose to employ one developer to customize and build MCIR from scratch because there were few software package options on the market in 1998. Today, grantees have multiple off-the-shelf software packages to choose from that take into account a consortium of grantee requirements and needs.

One System or Two?

Michigan chose to manage MCIR at the state level to meet the needs of their providers. They preferred controlling the features and functionality of their software; something they cannot control within VTrckS. Michigan recognized there is more work for their office to train on and manage VTrckS. Additionally, Michigan eliminated the need to maintain provider eligibility in SAMS and to train providers since they do not use VTrckS.

VTrckS Preparation Tips

Michigan knew that implementing a successful, VTrckS-compatible registry required a very structured approach. Breaking their MCIR project into three logical components -- inventory, ordering, and VTrckS integration– worked well for them and could work well for other grantees as well.

To accomplish this three step approach, a grantee must first mandate immunization reporting to the registry. Michigan then later added forced eligibility in MCIR for VFC providers to account for all public vaccine doses. Secondly, a Grantee's providers need to monitor public vaccine inventory by capturing and tracking National Drug Code (NDC), lot number, and expiration date. Grantees can do this by using their registry, as in Michigan’s case, or via a new form for tracking.

And finally, providers move to online ordering which is often the most seamless step when the inventory groundwork has been properly structured. Michigan opted to initiate all orders within MCIR so that a unique order number would be generated then passed to VTrckS. Additionally, online training and conference calls worked well for providers.

In terms of preparing an ExIS interface with VTrckS, grantees need to develop and generate three export files (master file, ending inventory, vaccine orders). The second step requires uploading these three files in succession to VTrckS. A critical step is extensively testing and troubleshooting the files before going live. Most important is to have a backup plan in place for go-live so that orders may still get into VTrckS for processing even if something goes wrong with the ExIS.

Parting Thoughts

Michigan's perspective is that any grantee with an ExIS, capable of both inventory and ordering, should consider integrating their ExIS with VTrckS. If their ExIS cannot perform these functions just yet, grantees could consider upgrading the ExIS first and then interfacing it to VTrckS. Michigan found that this approach was well worth the investment.


Did You Know? Spotlight on Michigan Care

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