Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 2:30 PM

Smallpox Clinics: How Technology Can Aid The Clinician

Nancy A. Click, Communicable Disease Prevention Team, Columbus Health Department, 240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH, USA and Laurie Dietsch, Atlantic Management Center Incorporated, 50 W. Broad Street, Suite 1970, Columbus, OH, USA.

In October 2002, the CDC issued post smallpox event planning guidance which specifically addressed how the state and local health departments intend to vaccinate their communities. The Central Region; comprised of individuals from Franklin, Delaware, Marion, and Newark counties; met regularly to develop a response plan.

To demonstrate a clinical perspective on how technology can be vital in a mass vaccination event.

Approximately 11.4 million people would need to be vaccinated in 10 days in a post-event smallpox outbreak in Ohio. Many clinical issues need to be resolved before implementing regional smallpox vaccination clinics: process flow, staffing, security, confidentiality, enlisting and screening teams, administration of vaccine, documentation, tracking of adverse events and take response. The Central Region was aware of the important role of immunization registries in this process and volunteered to pilot a wireless portable electronic data entry and documentation system designed to streamline the smallpox vaccination process and transmit the data to the statewide immunization registry. The combination of clinical and technical expertise brought a creative solution to the Central Region.

512 of the 1,921 people vaccinated in Ohio were vaccinated in the Central Region. The wireless system was more efficient than the PVS system.

Technology is vital in doing mass immunization campaigns and can be utilized to make the clinician’s job more efficient. Immunization registries should be involved in emergency preparedness plans.

How to set up a response plan that can be implemented in various locations.
Immunization registries are an integral part of a successful plan to combat bioterrorism.
Technology simplifies mass immunization clinics and should support clinicians not make them change their process.