22802 Data Into Action: A Health Department Addresses Novel H1N1 Using Public Health Detailing

Thursday, April 22, 2010: 9:05 AM
Regency Ballroom VI
Laura Wedemeyer, BA , Director, Public Health Detailing Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Background: In 2003, the New York City Health Department (DOHMH) instituted “Public Health Detailing,” (PHD) an educational outreach approach targeting healthcare providers in underserved areas of NYC.  Modeled after the pharmaceutical sales strategy of delivering brief, targeted messages through one-on-one detailing visits, PHD promotes evidence-based public health interventions by delivering clinical tools, provider resources and patient education materials supporting DOHMH recommendations. Following the explosive outbreak of novel H1N1 in April 2009, our program participated in a citywide multi-agency planning effort to improve communications to healthcare providers in preparation for fall influenza season.

Setting: Primary care practices in the underserved communities of East and Central Harlem, Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx and designated public flu “fast-track” centers throughout NYC.

Population: Healthcare providers and staff in NYC.

Project Description: DOHMH’s H1N1 communication plan included a PHD campaign for Influenza/Pneumococcal Vaccination, detailing the most up-to-date information to healthcare professionals in-person.  Beforehand, DOHMH content-experts trained Health Department representatives to effectively educate providers on issues concerning H1N1, seasonal influenza and pneumococcal disease. Graphically engaging “Action Kits,” were developed to support agency key recommendations: 1) Recommend the appropriate flu vaccine(s) for at-risk patients, 2) Screen patients to determine if they need a pneumococcal vaccine, 3) Vaccinate all health care workers against both seasonal and H1N1 influenza; and 4) Continue to vaccinate high-risk patients throughout the flu season.

Results/Lessons Learned: 195 practices were detailed during the campaign, reaching 1332 unique providers and staff.  Additionally, 198 healthcare professionals were detailed during group presentations.  The average visit lasted 14 minutes.  99% surveyed said they "are" or "will be" following the DOHMH recommendations.   This experience illustrates how an innovative educational program is utilized during a state-of-alert to optimally communicate with front-line providers. This campaign highlights the use of detailing for improving cooperation, communication and execution of rapid emergency-planning.

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