Healthcare Workers Drive Flu Prevention in MD

Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media , December 29, 2010

"We've figured out now how to arrange the number of shot givers and consent takers, people to answer questions from patients, security to direct traffic," said Mihalik.

Impressively, all of this happens with in-house staff and volunteers. A combination of security and facilities management direct traffic (local police are aware of the event, but are not on site). The clinic itself is staffed by ten nurses at a time on an availability-based schedule. They rotate in and out as needed, with a core group of leaders on site at all times.

No one is required to participate as part of their job—everyone who works on the clinic does so voluntarily.

Physically, the drive through is set up to do a volume business. Rows of cars literally drive up to a tent, under which nurses wait on each side of the car to administer shots. Typically there are four lanes of traffic with two nurses manning each lane. Support staff act as runners to keep the nurses administering the shots supplied in vaccines (the vaccine is temperature sensitive and thus needs to be kept cool). The runners also keep each station stocked in alcohol preps.

Additionally, the clinic provides an educational service to patients. Before passing through the tents, they are provided with information on the flu, why vaccination is important, and key product information about the vaccine used.

"It's phenomenal—our staff is able to give 300 shots an hour," said Milahik.

Matt Phillion, CSHA, is senior managing editor of Briefings on The Joint Commission and senior editorial advisor for the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals (AHAP).
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