Live-Blogging an H1N1 Vaccine Clinic

Saturday morning, Kressly Pediatrics is conducting an H1N1 Vaccine Clinic in which we expect to immunize 120 patients in the course of four hours. Is OP up to the challenge? As the person who conceived the 60-Second Flu Shot, I can’t wait to find out myself. Tonight I am documenting our preparation. Here goes …

On Tuesday (right after Sue and I returned from a fabulous presentation at the AAP NCE), cold reality slapped us in the face, in the form of 50 multi-dose vials of killed H1N1 vaccine from the PA Department of Health. Since local school districts are covering school age children, Sue and Karen decided to focus on the preschool cohort of 6 to 60 months. Based on a quick survey of practice population statistics in OP, they allocated the supply as 300 child doses (0.5ml) and 400 infant doses (0.25ml).

They decided to hold a weekend clinic for well children, because H1N1 disease is already prevalent in the community. It was determined that there was enough staff to run two “production lines,” each of which could process a patient from check-in to check-out in an average of four minutes. That meant appointments could be booked at two-minute intervals.

With coverage and appointment counts in hand, OP generated a list of email addresses for all families with at least one child in the target population. Tuesday night — the same day vaccine arrived! — a mass email was sent to 395 addresses covering almost 700 children, of which 360 were delivered successfully. By the next morning at 11:30, all 120 appointment slots were filled. They quickly decided to add a second clinic the following Saturday (Halloween, spooky!), which filled by Thursday morning. Each appointment was pre-populated with the name of the template governing the visit, which means that appropriate ROS and standing vaccine orders will appear in the patient’s chart as soon as an encounter is opened.

Thursday night, we pre-validated the insurance policies on file for all 120 appointments in a batch that took about 10 minutes to run. Colleen is such an excellent insurance housekeeper that only FOUR turned up invalid or termed. Those patients were contacted Friday. Since we already know that everyone showing up has valid insurance, that step of the check-in process will be skipped. No money changes hands on this vaccine, so that step will be skipped, too. (I know, every visit is an opportunity to collect old balances. This time is the exception.)

Late Friday afternoon, the nursing staff preloaded 120 syringes that are now resting on trays in the fridge. We already know everyone’s age, so they are organized by dose size. The nurses also preloaded some seasonal flu, because patients who have not yet received that vaccine will be offered the choice to get both while they are here.

And now … we wait. I doubt I’ll have any time to blog during the event — Sue would kill me — but I’ll try to take a few photos and report afterwards on whether we have done enough to avoid a mob scene.

Greg


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