VDH-Erickson-Lessons learned

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					          Lessons from Operation Panflu

Higher Education Pandemic Symposium
November 2, 2007 • University of Vermont
Review Emergency Operations Plan
• Keep operational plans complete, up-to-date
• Incomplete plan = difficult to form plan of action
  for situation

  • Draft annexes for pandemic flu, isolation &
  • FLAG areas that need development
Review EOC Roles & Responsibilities
 •   Use Incident Command System (ICS)
 •   Failure to use ICS = hard to coordinate response

   • Set ICS roles for campus staff in EOP
   • Get ICS training for staff
   •   and for campus response groups
   • Write MOUs for coordinating agencies
     Plan for EOC Infrastructure
•   Consider:
    visual and IT aids - headphones - conference calling -
    disaster mgmt. software - PIO - media center - security

•   Go without = hard to manage emergency

  • ID infrastructure needs & fill them
  • Drill EOC often
  • Visit experienced EOCs to learn best practices
               Know Who is Who
•   Keep current contact info for all critical personnel
•   Integrate external agencies into college/U operations

    •   Diagram resources for local staff at state, federal levels
    •   Establish college/U, health department working relationships
    •   Recognize by sight, name, function
    •   ID vests for all command personnel
    •   Clarify command & control for health dept. and college/U
Take Action to Control Infection
•   Plan to take immediate infection control actions
•   Swift isolation = decreases potential for spread of illness

  • Specify infection control measures, procedures in plan
    Allow Access to Patient Info
•   Clinic staff need access to patient medical information,
    authority to release

•   Without info = can t know medical status, compromises
    medical judgment

  • Allow access to patient medical information for clinic
    staff ONLY
  Give Medical Attention FAST
• Provide for immediate medical attention for infected students
• Delay = lack of cooperation; potential to spread illness

   • Practice health department/behavioral health coordination
   • Go-kit with response checklist for any infectious disease
     intake forms, fact sheets, info handouts, contact lists, etc.

    • IDEA: health care worker on call (cell) to answer medical ?s
Understand Isolation & Quarantine
 • Know/ understand definitions, purpose, plans and protocols
 • Lack of understanding = hard to implement

    • Review Vermont legislation - ensure legal counsel refer to
      current EOC plans
    • Train all campus staff for their roles
    • Outreach campaign = students, families, community
    • Public information (e.g. laminated cards in dorms,
      welcome packs)
        Plan for Quarantine Site
•   ID adequate facility for quarantine (bathrooms, fire safety,
    enough beds, etc.)
•   Safe, comfortable facility = reduce stress, increase

  • Create checklist of necessaries for location & facility
  • Tour potential facilities to make sure they will work
    Plan for Quarantine Support
•   Food service, laundry, supplies, biohazard bags,
    communication needs
•   Logistical supports = reduce stress, increase cooperation,
    free staff time

  • Plan for all logistical needs to support patients and staff
  • Create Job Action Sheet for Quarantine Site Liaison
  • Assign Liaison when quarantine is activated
  • Drill quarantine sites and coordination with EOC
                Plan for Security
•   Maintain isolation or quarantine with security, PPEs
•   Lack of security = isolation or quarantine breaks, potential
    spread of illness

  • Create Job Action Sheet for Security
  • Assign Security when isolation or quarantine is
Communicate Safety Measures
•   All info about quarantine must be communicated to all
•   If not = staff respond without personal protection

  • Provide complete info about active quarantines to all
  • Train health and college/U staff in ICS, unified
    command, PPE use
    Clarify Authority to Release
•   ONLY the person with authority to do so can release
    patients from quarantine.
•   Premature release = potential for spread of illness

  • Lab results should be forwarded promptly to those in
    clinical setting who are authorized to do the testing
    and act on the results
  • Others should be cautioned that this is part of a
    specialized role
Consider Behavioral Health Effects
 •   Quarantine decisions must be based on science/protocols,
     NOT empathy
 •   Premature release = potential for spread of illness

   • Consider behavioral health in quarantine planning
   • Train staff regarding mental/emotional rigors
Communicate about Quarantine
• If quarantine is voluntary, enforcement is by information-sharing,
    risk communication
•   Without enough info = students go home, to dorm, to hospitals

   • Coordinate health and college/U quarantine plans
   • Station security officers trained in use of PPE
    • (Develop college/U panflu communication plans with health
    Communicate with Students
•   Provide full, accurate, consistent, credible information
    throughout event

•   Without info = more stress, fear; less trust, cooperation

    • Develop list of commonly asked Qs & As, fact sheets
    • (Train in Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication)
    Communicate with Families
•   Family Assistance Center = means to communicate with,
    provide psychological support to families

•   In pandemic flu situation = physical or virtual?

  • Write plan to establish FAC for emergencies, including
    activation, support features, staffing
  • Investigate staff resources with health or mental health
       The Internet & Public Info
•   Use of internet by quarantined students can affect media
    relations and coordinated public information efforts
•   Blogs or video posts by students = potential to spread
    rumors, mis-info

  • Restrict web access to secure, password-protected
    website for students and their families
  • Update plans to reflect internet use; include adequate
    IT support
    Nancy Erickson
Communication Director


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