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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
State: CA
Date Added: 12/02/2009
Themes: Medical Care and Countermeasures
Issue Summary: Engaging teams from medical practices and clinics in optomizing H1N1 vaccination and care management
Description of Issue(s): Public health does not operate any primary care clinics. We have conducted school based immunization clinics, but rely on clinics and private practices to identify and vaccinate patients in high risk groups. Public health sought to minimize infection risk to health workers and patients in outpatient settings and disseminate appropriate self care and respiratory hygiene practices to the general public.
Actions taken to address the issue(s): The Community Health Alliance of Humboldt County is funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a "primary care resdesign" project whereby teams 15 medical practices and community clinics particpate in group support for quality improvement projects. Teams, generally lead by medical assistants or nurses, meet at the clinic sites biweekly to improve patient care processes, measure outcomes and revise approaches. The teams were presented with "H1N1 kits" with tools for workplace safety, protocols for advising patients calling in, suggestions for getting patients in target groups immunized and a request to set up a communications protocol for distributing ongoing information from public health.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: Follow up survey of the 15 practices showed all had used the tools, formulated policies and were conducting appropriate immunization outreach. All reported that information from public health was adequate for their needs.

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