Healthcare Ready | Pandemic Preparedness

Pandemic Preparedness

Healthcare Ready is constantly identifying and promoting ways of increasing pandemic preparedness.

Our notable activations include:

  • A year-long activation in 2009 for H1N1 focused on providing pharmacists with the tools needed to increase immunizations and rapidly share information with clients and public health departments (as appropriate).
  • As a part of our response to the Ebola epidemic, Healthcare Ready developed job guidance and supplemental materials for pharmacists
    • Aides on the courses of action to take if a patient presented with Ebola virus disease at a pharmacy.
    • Resources for pharmacists and pharmacy owners on limiting exposure to infectious disease and best practices to improve partnerships with local health departments.

Our advocacy and policy experience includes:

  • Authoring a report on the feasibility of community pharmacy text messaging to provide vaccination reminders
  • Our advocacy for a more standardized, national approach led to collaboration with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to develop a national framework for health departments’ use of pharmacies as vaccination sites.
    • Supported the development of an inventory tool, Countermeasure Inventory Tracking Dashboard (CIT), a situational awareness tool to assist federal and state officials with decision-making for the release of stockpiled assets. Healthcare Ready helped identify and convene potential users of the CIT.
    • Exercise support to study pharmacy’s ability to mass vaccinate in a future pandemic through exercise planning, day-of execution as controller/evaluator and after-action analysis.
  • Advocating for the continued integration of public health and pharmacy and on:
    • Tools such as the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP)
    • Utilization of the normal supply chain to distribute stockpiled antivirals to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. This reduces burden on the public health and leverages the strengths of private sector experts.
  • Partnering with the Emergency Preparedness Task Group for the National Council of Prescription Drug Programs to develop guidance for pharmacists working through emergency events
    • Leveraging Rx Open as a tool for pharmacists to use and recommend to clients during an event
  • Healthcare Ready teamed up with one of our private sector partners, Jim Williams with Sears Holdings to review guidance available to the private sector on influenza pandemic preparedness.
    • An investigation of current guidance for private sector: planning, preparedness and perceived threat of a virulent influenza pandemic.