22458 Communicating to H1N1 Vaccinators Statewide: California's CalPanFlu.Org Messaging

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Tammy Pilisuk, MPH , Health Educator, California Department of Public Health

Background: Communicating to providers outside public health or the VFC program has been an ongoing challenge in California. Creating a State-run H1N1 vaccine distribution system created a unique opportunity to communicate with all vaccinators administering pandemic flu vaccine. An online ordering system required vaccinators to provide an email contact. An H1N1 Customer Call Center was established to help providers order vaccine and keep abreast of distribution issues.

Setting: A messaging system was created at the State Immunization Branch using a listserv of H1N1 vaccinators to send e-blasts. A Customer Call Center responded to questions by phone and email.

Population: The CalPanFlu.org listserv reaches only licensed physicians who have registered to order H1N1 vaccine. Messaging is also applicable for allied health care personnel involved in ordering, storing, or administering vaccine.

Project Description: Using a new statewide H1N1 vaccinator database, California has been able to communicate with virtually all vaccinating health care providers across public and private institutions. The State established coordinated strategies to communicate timely H1N1 vaccine risk communication messages about vaccine supply, priority groups, and distribution including:

  • Email messages to the CalPanFlu.org listserv
  • A Q&A script for Call Center staff to answer provider’s’ routine questions
  • An H1N1 Vaccine Provider Packet, mailed to over 10,000 provider offices
  • Regular website updates with clinical tools for providers and their patients   

Results/Lessons Learned:

  • Capturing email addresses from H1N1 vaccine registrants enabled us to reach mass vaccinators, pharmacies, hospitals, correctional and juvenile facilities, among others.
  • Rapidly changing information meant we could not always keep pace with the media. This sometimes added to providers’ confusion about vaccine supply or timelines.
  • Updating our Customer Call Center phone staff was a daily challenge requiring ongoing training.
  • Listserv messages about limited vaccine supply required solid risk communication. Messages were sometimes subject to frustration from recipients.
See more of: Poster & Exhibit Viewing Session
See more of: Submissions