Flu vaccine delivery best practice analysis for Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department
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Influenza A virus and B virus infect human respiratory systems and may cause death if individuals contract a secondary pneumonia infection. Local health departments (LHDs) across the United States deliver flu vaccines to their community through several traditional and nontraditional delivery methods. The purpose of this project was to investigate flu vaccine delivery methods used by Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services (ATCHHSD) and other LHDs in the US and Texas during the 2011-2012 flu season. Presented here are the research findings of vaccine delivery practices among the 25 LHDs that completed the online questionnaire through Qualtrics, an online survey provider. Many similarities existed between the flu vaccine delivery systems of the 25 LHDs and ACTHHSD; both delivered vaccines through regular LHD clinics, massive flu clinics by appointment, drive-through clinics, strike teams, outreach to at-risk populations and external partnerships. They also primarily partnered with independent school districts and non-profits to deliver vaccines. They promoted their vaccine delivery through radio, television, Facebook and Twitter. The 25 LHDs and ATCHHSD cited well-trained staff as the largest factor for their self-reported rating on efficiency and effectiveness. Many differences between the LHDs and ATCHHSD were found; the majority of the 25 LHDs did not conduct massive flu clinics, however ATCHHSD did. Those that did conduct mass clinics began conducting them in October, rather than September, like ATCHHSD. The 25 LHDs on average vaccinated more people per employee (17) than ATCHHSD (8). On average, a vaccination at a regular clinic from the 25 LHDs cost $36 per flu vaccine, while at ATCHHSD cost it $10. Twenty percent and 25% of LHDs accepted Medicare and Medicaid respectively, while 36% accepted private insurance. ATCHHSD accepted Medicare, Medicaid but no private insurance. Lastly, the throughput time of the 25 LHDs (14 minutes) was on average, lower than ATCHHSD’s (20 minutes).