Flu clinic praised for efficiency
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 18, 2004 2:01 PM
The Wayne County Health Department's second flu clinic went much smoother than expected, thanks to measures to streamline the time spent waiting in line.
Josa Raynor-Vaughn, communicable disease program manager, credited health workers with making revisions that better accommodated the public. She told the Board of Health on Wednesday that during the first flu clinic, held Oct. 26, 749 doses were given out.
She said there was a lot of concern because the patients, many elderly and considered high-risk, had to stand in line for a long time.
"We revised the system a little bit after the first one," she said.
For Tuesday's clinic, numbers were given out in advance for the available vaccines. In all, 595 shots were given. High-risk patients were told they could have someone stand in line for them; some were accommodated without even getting out of their cars.
The line formed outside the Health Department before 7 a.m., with patients divided into groups and given an estimated time of when they would be helped. Those beyond the first group were told they could return in an hour, the next group in two hours, etc.
Medical forms were also available on the computer that could be downloaded ahead of time.
Mrs. Raynor-Vaughn said 55 percent of the patients took advantage of the offer and brought the forms with them.
James Roosen, health director, said he was very pleased with the response. The measure saved not only his department time and money, he said, but helped decrease processing time for the patients.
"I think the patients were a lot more comfortable," he said. "I timed several and they were only in the building 10 minutes."
He said it had taken as long as 45 minutes per patient during the first clinic.
Board member Efton Sager complimented the health workers for their efforts. He said he had heard people comment that it was the best system they had seen.
"After the first numbers, you really didn't have anybody standing in line," he said.
Sager also noted though that the Health Department had asked that no one arrive before 7 a.m. Sager said he arrived then and estimated 450 were already in line.
Kathy Smith, processing unit supervisor for the Health Department, said, "There's probably more things that could make it even quicker next time. We're doing everything we can to accommodate everybody."
Board member Ira Thigpen said, "There's some you could probably take a country ham to their house, cook them breakfast and give them a flu shot in their bed and they'd still complain.
"If they're going to complain about that, they're going to complain about anything. We're mighty proud of the way y'all handled it."
Roosen credited the staff with bringing a lot of good ideas to the table to fine-tune the way the flu clinics were run.
Ms. Raynor-Vaughn said 1,500 doses have been sold to doctors offices and the Health Department still anticipates another 6,000 doses will be received soon. Doctors have been encouraged to contact the Health Department with requests so the doses will be fairly distributed.
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