Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace: The Flulapalooza Model for Mass Vaccination

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Abstract

Objectives

To explore whether an emergency preparedness structure is a feasible, efficient, and sustainable way for health care organizations to manage mass vaccination events.

Methods

We used the Hospital Incident Command System to conduct a 1-day annual mass influenza vaccination event at Vanderbilt University Medical Center over 5 successive years (2011-2015). Using continuous quality improvement principles, we assessed whether changes in layout, supply management, staffing, and documentation systems improved efficiency.

Results

A total of 66 591 influenza vaccines were administered at 5 annual Flulapalooza events; 13 318 vaccines per event on average. Changes to the physical layout, staffing mix, and documentation processes improved vaccination efficiency 74%, from approximately 38 to 67 vaccines per hour per vaccinator, while reducing overall staffing needs by 38%. An unexpected finding was the role of social media in facilitating active engagement.

Conclusions

Health care organizations can use a closed point-of-dispensing model and Hospital Incident Command System to conduct mass vaccination events, and can adopt the “Flulapalooza method” as a best practice model to enhance efficiency.

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