213395 Public health communication with health care professionals in response to the H1N1 outbreak: Lessons from Kentucky

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:50 AM

Angela Dearinger, MD, MPH , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Preparation for resurgence of the H1N1 influenza virus has been underway for several months across the nation and in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Efforts to mitigate the impact of influenza outbreak in Kentucky require that all organizations and individuals that are stakeholders in preserving and protecting the health of populations, understand the public health response to the initial emergence of H1N1. To that end, we designed and implemented a study to assess the initial H1N1 response by three of the major contributors to population health: local health departments, physicians, and pharmacists. A critical component to emergency preparedness is effective communication between and among health care professionals, community institutions/organizations, and the general public. Results indicate that a broad range of communication strategies and channels were used to share information about disease risks, investigation protocols, prevention and mitigation practices. Nevertheless, significant gaps and inconsistencies were identified regarding the ability of public health systems to effectively communicate relevant information among local public health agencies, primary care practices, and community pharmacies. Based on these findings, several recommendations emerge for improving communication and information-sharing among public health and health care practitioners.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate communication strategies used by public health officials to exchange information with health care practitioners regarding H1N1 investigation and response activities; Identify communication barriers and gaps that exist among public health officials, primary care providers, and community pharmacists; Develop strategies for enhancing communication and information exchange during an H1N1 influenza outbreak

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Academic credentials, knowledge and experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.