22821 Operation Inoculation: Use of Modeling and Simulation as Part of the Planning and Implementation Process for a Large Community Wide Drive-Thru Point of Dispensing for H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Immunization

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall

Background: Faculty and staff from the University of Louisville (UL) Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the School of Public Health and Information Sciences were asked by the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness to assist with a community-wide H1N1 immunization event aimed at high risk groups of adults and children.  The process was to include a ten lane drive-thru and a walk-up option where healthcare personnel administered both injectable and intranasal H1N1 influenza vaccine.   Assistance was sought from researchers with experience in modeling and simulation to assess existing performance indicators regarding throughput time, identify areas in the process likely to be a bottleneck, assess the impact of the drive-thru component on the surrounding area, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Setting: Louisville metro area of approximately 750,000.

Population: High risk adults and children.

Project Description: Using experiences from smaller scale drive-thru events, researchers from the UL Speed School of Engineering, Logistics and Distribution Institute tested performance indicators using a modeling approach.  Performance indicators included anticipated number of vehicles during each hour of the 12-hour event, the numbers of adults and children seeking immunization, time needed to immunize each individual, inter-arrival time, time spent leaving the event property, and impact on area traffic.  The model was demonstrated using a simulation process that allowed planners to visualize specific aspects of the drive-thru so bottlenecks and other obstacles could be identified and addressed.

Results/Lessons Learned: During the two days event, a total of 19,079 vaccines were administered with 12,613 (66.1%) being administered via a ten lane drive-thru.  Modeling and simulation were used to refine the drive-thru process so adjustments were made prior to and during implementation.  The crucial benefits of modeling and simulation involved the visual representation of the process used to gain support from leadership and as part of event planning.

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