Objective: To describe IPC involvement in a comprehensive Disaster Preparedness approach to planning for H1N1, prior to influenza season.
Methods: At a 634 bed tertiary care hospital, a 9 person IPC department (6 nurses, 1 director, 1 hospital epidemiologist, 1 secretary) and the IPC Committee Chair quantified time spent on H1N1 from July-October 2009. Key functions were classified as critical, supportive, or limited.
The table below shows IPC involvement and functions
|Key Functions of IPC ||Hours/|
| Critical |
|Communications||Assure accuracy of all information to staff, patients, visitors. |
Maintenance of hospital intranet H1N1 site
Visitation restriction planning
|Infection control||Respond to all regulatory, CDC, Dept of Health guidance |
Establish IPC precautions
Educate frontline staff in IC management of suspect/confirmed cases
Train security & patient registration
Surveillance of influenza like illness (
Assess surveillance for nosocomial transmission.
Assess surveillance for need for surge planning.
|Laboratory||Surveillance of tests ordered. |
Set strategies to ensure accurate ordering
|Occupational health||Return to work algorithm. |
Develop strategies to prioritize vaccine distribution.
Assist with staff vaccination campaign.
|Emergency Dept ||Triage of ||1|
|Throughput initiatives to open beds for surge. |
Care plan for laboring women and newborns
Protocols for patient and caregiver vaccination.
Care of children with viral syndromes.
|Outpatient ||Triage of |
Appropriate advance directions for callers, placement for ill pts
|Supply||Assure adequate supply of personal protective equipment. |
Establish supply stations of masks, tissues, hand sanitizer
| Limited |
|Finance||Plan for increased/altered IPC hours for pandemic. ||0.25|
|Human resources||Assist with identification of vaccination priority groups and staffing requirements||0.25|
|Pharmacy||Be knowlegable of restrictions and availability of medications for influenza treatment and prophylaxis. ||0.25|
Conclusions: A 9 person IPC department at a tertiary care hospital required 0.8 FTE time per 40 hr week to concentrate on key elements of preparedness planning in leadership, supportive and consultative roles prior to seeing increased influenza cases. Some of this time consisted of >1 department member attending the same meetings, which smaller departments may not have the need or ability to do. This stratification may assist with efficient use of limited IPC resources. A similar strategy will be needed for activities during the influenza season.