Electronic Immunization Registries:
From planning to implementation
PAHO Scholar Level 1 certification course
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) invites applications for the first English cohort of the certification course in Electronic Immunization Registries (EIRs) open to all professionals supporting or willing to support the implementation of EIR-related information systems.
Who should apply for the course?
The course is aimed at professionals with responsibility for:
- designing, planning and administering the EPI's nominal immunization registry;
- implementing strategies using the information from the EIR system;
- examining the feasibility of putting in place an EIR system.
We encourage decision-makers, experts in health information systems, and managers in Ministries of Health and immunization programs, as well as in national information and statistics units or departments within PAHO and WHO Member States to apply. Data managers who are involved with immunization information systems are also encouraged to apply.
Special Event: Electronic Immunization Registries
This Special Event with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) about Electronic Immunization Registries (EIR) is open to everyone.
Context for the course
In a context of relatively high vaccination coverage, it has become more difficult to detect who lacks complete compulsory vaccine coverage. Immunization schedules have become a great deal more complex with the introduction of new, more expensive vaccines that had led to an increase in programme budgets, which, in turn, created a need for increasingly precise, complete, and systematic accountability.
In parallel, information and communication technologies (ICT), geographic information systems (GIS), and connectivity are increasingly omnipresent and attainable, which has allowed the development of Electronic Immunization Registries (EIRs). These cost-effective and user-friendly tools help increase coverage, improve the timeliness of vaccination, and provide reliable data for decision-making. EIRs also enable monitoring of the immunization process with a view to optimizing ancillary activities
The purpose of this course is to strengthen country capabilities by supporting the development of
context-specific (country or sub-country) action planning to develop, implement, and improve EIRs.
Course schedule overview
Onboarding week: 14–18 September 2020
Orientation week: 21–25 September 2020
Week 1: 28 September–2 October 2020
Week 2: 5–9 October 2020
Week 3: 12–16 October 2020
Term break 17 October–1 November 2020
Week 4: 2–6 November 2020
Week 5: 9–13 November 2020
Week 6: 16–20 November 2020
Weekly discussion group schedule
The discussion group shall meet every Thursday at 4 pm Geneva Time
(10 am Washington, D.C. time), starting during Onboarding week. (Check time)
Added value of this course
- Accelerated learning on technical, functional, and operational aspects of development and implementation of EIRs.
- Participants will work both in small groups (peer review) and as a community to compare and share best practices in EIR implementation.
- In addition to peer review by colleagues, proposals may also receive feedback from subject matter experts at PAHO, WHO HQ, and other agencies.
- Upon successful completion of the course and following validation of your final project and assignments by the course team and subject matter experts, you will receive a Scholar Level 1 certificate of completion.
- Develop your digital skills to collaborate and learn remotely after the course in the Foundation's Impact Accelerator.
By developing a project for EIR planning and implementation in their own context, participants will learn, practice, and apply important concepts, drawing on examples, country experiences, case studies, tools, and practical considerations and questions for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of EIR-related information systems and to facilitate decision-making at each stage of EIR development and implementation. Participants who successfully complete the certification course in Electronic Immunization Registries are expected to be able to:
- Summarize the processes involved in developing EIRs.
- Identify if their own country (or sub-country) context is ready to implement an EIR, OR if they already have an EIR in place, the current status of the EIR.
- Relate the technical, functional, and operational recommendations to their specific context.
- Plan implementation of EIR based on relevant experiences for development, implementation, maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation of EIR systems.
- Identify best practices and case studies in dialogue with peers in other countries and contexts.
- Compare and share lessons learned and successful experiences in EIR implementation with peers and experts from all over the world, drawing on global expertise from WHO.
Main resource for this course
Electronic Immunization Registry: Practical Considerations for Planning, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Pan American Health Organization 2017.
- This document provides an overview of the EIR planning, design, and implementation stages to make the road easier for countries that are considering embarking on this journey or have already done so.
- The document introduces important concepts, examples, country experiences, case studies, tools (such as checklists and data quality assessment forms, among others), and practical considerations and questions to facilitate decision-making at each stage of EIR development and implementation.
- Specific topics include:
- Context of the systems of health information;
- Context of EIRs;
- Strategic, operational planning and estimation of associated costs;
- Necessary elements of an electronic immunization registry for its implementation and obtaining results;
- Solving problems and finding the right solution;
- Monitoring and evaluation of the data quality of an EIR;
- Face future challenges;
What will you do in this course?
- Complete successive writing assignments to draft an action plan focused on developing, implementing or evaluating EIRs.
- Peer review the draft action plans of other participants to learn from and provide constructive inputs.
- Revise your draft activities, drawing on what you learned from peer review, resources and ongoing dialogue in the course.
- Contribute regularly to community dialogue and at least once a week in a discussion group.
Participants should expect to:
- dedicate at least 6-8 hours per week to course work.
- participate remotely in the weekly, 60-minute group discussion that will take place online once a week. (Recordings of these sessions will be made available for those who are unable to attend for valid reasons.)
- complete activities that have been divided into short daily tasks intended to be completed in 30 minutes. Each set of course activities must be completed within a given week. Participants may schedule their work at any time during the week, except for the weekly group session which is scheduled at a fixed day and time each week. (Those unable to attend for a legitimate reason will be asked to complete a catch-up task.)
How will we learn in this course?
Participants in this course will be ‘peers’ because they work in the same field and are interested in the course topic. Most people recognize that adult learners can learn from each other through ‘peer learning’.
- Effective practice of peer learning, however, requires un-learning much of what has been ingrained over years of schooling.
- We have internalized the conviction that significant learning requires expert feedback. In this course:
- You will discover how much you can learn from your peers by giving and receiving feedback in many different ways.
- You will learn to trust and support colleagues in the course – and discover that this can greatly strengthen your own learning.
- You will likely need to challenge your assumptions about how you learn in order to succeed in this course. You may be skeptical about how much you can learn from other participants – given that you do not know their expertise or experience.
- Learning, however, is about problem-solving and critical thinking – not just knowledge.
- We ask that you trust the process – and expect to initially find yourself outside your comfort zone until you have experienced a moment of significant learning.
How will I know how I am doing – and where I need to improve?
The course will offer you many ways to receive guidance, support, and feedback from its faculty, who will provide guidance when and if it is needed.
- We are used to receiving feedback when sitting knee-to-knee with colleagues in a room or face-to-face in a video or phone call.
- In this course, you will discover that there are many other ways to receive feedback.
- Consider that the ways that are least familiar to you may in fact be the most effective, once you get used to them. Here are some examples:
- Rather than asking the faculty to review individual assignments, we will be entrusting course participants to evaluate each other’s work using structured peer review.
- When the course community is connected at the same time online, we will listen to short presentations by participants and everyone will be able to give constructive feedback.
- Faculty will share guidance, support, and feedback that you can access at any time – and you are expected to think about what these mean for your own work.
- You will also be able to ask questions at any time – and receive answers from both faculty and peers.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they are able to meet the following requirements.
- Information technology: You will need to access the course web site on a regular basis (preferably every day). Participants need to have access to a reliable Internet connection and a standards-based browser less than two years old (Firefox, Safari, or Chrome). Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge users will be asked to use a standards-based browser for the course. Mobile-only users will need to use Mobile Chrome in desktop mode when working on their course projects.
- When working with data, the use of Excel is likely to be required, preferably from a desktop computer.
- Specific guidance will be provided to those who have bandwidth limitations, intermittent access, or may suffer from disruption of their connection to the Internet.
- Languages: The language of the course is English. Participants are encouraged to schedule extra time if they are not fully proficient writing in the course language.
Upon successful completion of the course and following validation of your final project and assignments by the course team and subject matter experts, you will receive a Scholar Level 1 certificate of completion.
The Scholar community is devoted to learning and the creation of knowledge. We view integrity as the basis for meaningful collaboration. We thus hold honesty – in the representation of our work and in our interactions – as the foundation of our community.
Members of the Scholar community commit themselves to producing course work of integrity – that is, work that adheres to the scholarly and intellectual standards of accurate attribution of sources, appropriate collection and use of data, and transparent acknowledgement of the contribution of others to their ideas, discoveries, interpretations, and conclusions. Cheating on assignments or projects, plagiarizing or misrepresenting the ideas or language of someone else as one’s own, falsifying data, or any other instance of dishonesty violates the standards of our community, as well as the standards of the wider world of immunization.
Scholar course participants are required to adhere to a strict Honor Code. Violation of the Honor Code may result in removal from the course, loss of certification (including prior Scholar certificates), and notification of your employer.
Research and evaluation
PAHO and The Geneva Learning Foundation may review projects developed by Scholars and may consider some of them for use in their communication, advocacy and training effort. You will be asked for consent in your application.
Learners may also be invited to participate in research and evaluation by the Geneva Learning Foundation and its research partners. Participation in this research is completely voluntary, and you may stop taking part at any time. In cases where learners do not consent, no learner data will be collected. Participation or non-participation will have no effect on assessment of your performance in the course or your present or future relationship with the organizations involved.