165962 Identifying Gaps in Planning For Pandemic Influenza

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pamela M. Aaltonen, RN, MS, PhDc , School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
David R. McKinnis, PhD , Technical Assistance Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Mark A. Lawley, PhD , School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Julie Novak , Healthcare Technical Assistance Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Feng Lin, MS , School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Regina Becker, MS , Department of Statistics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
To ascertain the level of pandemic influenza preparedness planning among local health departments, a gap analysis was conducted in 94 local health departments in a Midwestern state. All health departments completed a self-assessment using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) capabilities assessment tool in early spring. While state-wide and district patterns were captured using the tool, its utility was constrained by a narrow range of response options (not started, in progress, completed). This was followed in the summer by the use of a research team designed auditing tool. Data was collected by researchers via conference call or site visit with each health department. Reports were generated for every local health department that included recommendations for refining local pandemic influenza response plans. When data was aggregated, eleven significant gaps were identified, including alternative care site planning, mass fatality planning, and the identification of and means for providing vulnerable populations services. A state summary provided next steps for addressing the gaps, including actions on both state and local levels. Limitations of the study that are discussed include the fluid nature of planning, local political realities, and evolving plans and shifting divisions of responsibility on the federal level that impact states and local health entities.

Learning Objectives:
1. discuss preparedness planning strengths identified among local health departments, including best practices that could be replicated by other departments 2. identify significant gaps that exist in pandemic influenza preparedness on the local level 3. recognize challenges encountered by local public health preparedness planners

Keywords: Planning, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.