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Frequently Asked Questions About Race and Ethnicity Data

How is vaccination data by race and ethnicity tracked by the state?

The publication of vaccination data by race and ethnicity is made possible through the groundbreaking partnership between the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Electronic Health Record (EHR) Consortium. This unique and innovative collaboration between public health and health systems is the first statewide effort of its kind in the United States.

The data published on the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard is updated on a weekly basis and will inform strategies to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccine to Minnesotans of all races and ethnicities, especially underserved populations and communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 as a result of systemic inequities.

How are the data produced?

Each health system produces a summary report for their patients who have received a vaccine as reported to the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). These summary reports are sent to a central site for aggregation. The process at each site is standardized so summary reports are comparable. Race and ethnicity data are self-reported by patients and documented in either the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) or electronic health records (EHR) in participating health systems. Immunization data is from MIIC. All data is from the Minnesota EHR Consortium.

Denominators are based on American Community Survey (ACS) data 2010 and 2019 ACS 5-year Estimates.

Which systems and organizations are involved?

Participating health systems include Allina Health, CentraCare, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Essentia Health, M Health Fairview, University of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System, and North Memorial Health.

The Consortium is working with Sanford Health and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System to add summary data from their organizations in the coming weeks and are open to additional clinics/systems contributing summary data in the future.

Other affiliated organizations include Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, MN Community Measurement, and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Will this include vaccinations delivered by community vaccine sites, pharmacies, retailers, and private clinics?

The summary data will include any vaccination reported to MIIC from any type of facility, provided the recipient has received care from one of the participating health systems in the last 5-10 years.  This includes vaccines delivered by community vaccine sites, pharmacies, retailers, and private clinics in Minnesota.

What data are missing from the Consortium vaccination reports?

Data reported by the Consortium does not represent information for all vaccinations and faces a number of limitations, including unmatched patient profiles and patients with no existing data or race or ethnicity information. Vaccine recipients must have received care from one of the participating health systems in the last 5-10 years in order to have information included in summary data.

How are these data being used by the organizations and the state?

These data provide information on demographic and clinical trends in Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination effort. This information is critical for identifying gaps and disparities in vaccination efforts that can be acted on by health systems, state and local public health, and other health care organizations.

The Care Delivery System (CDS) Coalition consists of operational leadership from health systems also participating in the MN EHR Consortium. The CDS in partnership with MDH has already begun work to reduce inequity in vaccine administration across the state through public health partnerships, community outreach events, vaccine education efforts, and setting up vaccination sites in key areas to promote equity. Summary race and ethnicity data will be incorporated into MDH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Data dashboards for public viewing and use. The CDS and MDH intend to use Consortium data to inform their vaccine administration efforts across the state.

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