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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Chicago Department of Public Health
State: IL
Date Added: 11/25/2009
Themes: Vaccine Planning and Administration
Issue Summary: Monitoring by Public Health Emergency Operations Center minimizes wait time at vaccination clinics in Chicago
Description of Issue(s): Public Health Emergency Operations Center: The Chicago Department of Public Health has activated its Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) during the H1N1 mass vaccination campaign.
Actions taken to address the issue(s): During hours of non-clinic operations, the PHEOC staff (command staff) is developing staffing for each clinic for the following clinic day, managing changes in supply requests from the warehouse for the upcoming clinic days, developing the department’s incident action plan (IAP) and troubleshooting all clinic related issues and problems. The PHEOC has a special email through which all requests and problems are relayed, thereby streamlining any issues that need to be managed. One dedicated phone number with rollover capability to additional lines is also in place.  On the days of clinic operations, the PHEOC staff monitors operations at all 6 clinic sites (bird’s eye view) monitoring the numbers of people waiting in line for vaccinations, calculating vaccination rates and comparing those rates to the # of persons vaccinating vs. the # of persons still waiting. This enables the command staff to make projections as to the approximate number of vaccinations that can be completed during the 5 hour clinic time, which enables us to prevent turning patients away after they have been in line for hours. We are able to project in minutes, minimizing the patient’s wait and can then send the patient to another nearby clinic (with a smaller wait time) for vaccination or providing them with information on additional clinic dates. 
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: This has proven to be highly successful in Chicago, as residents are expressing their appreciation for not having to wait in line with false hope only to be turned away later.

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