The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) has launched a new quality measurement initiative to narrow gaps in measurement and reporting for adult immunizations.

Pharmacy Quality Alliance, PQA, PQA Adult Immunization Task Force, Laura Cranston

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PQA launches adult immunization task force

July 11th, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) has launched a new quality measurement initiative to narrow gaps in measurement and reporting for adult immunizations.

PQA said Friday that the PQA Adult Immunization Task Force will convene regularly over the next 12 to 18 months. The task force gathered in Arlington, Va., on June 17 for its initial in-person meeting.

Participants in the meeting included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA), national and state pharmacy associations, national pharmacy chains, independent pharmacists, academia, health plans and technology companies.

At the meeting, the task force identified and addressed challenges with current and proposed immunization reporting standards. The discussion focused on developing best practices and identifying measure concept work areas for the pharmacy practice setting that can be translated to other health care settings. The group formulated recommendations for methods that will allow better data capture through the use of registries and standardization of documentation.

"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," PQA executive director Laura Cranston said in a statement. "The organization of this task force presents a significant opportunity to address these gaps and offer solutions for overcoming current barriers."

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, are co-chairs of the PQA task force. PQA's director of quality strategies, Sam Stolpe, is serving as the staff liaison for the task force.

Plans call for the immunization task force to hold its next in-person meeting 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.

In other news, PQA on Friday announced several appointments. 

Jackie Green, PQA's current vice president of operations and business development, has been promoted to chief operating officer, while Sam Stolpe, has been promoted to director of quality strategies from his current post as associate director of quality initiatives.

In addition, Maria Scarlatos, has joined PQA as its second Executive Fellow. Scarlatos is a recent graduate of the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University's Bouvé College of Health Sciences.