Facilitated Look Backs: A New Quality Improvement Tool for Management of Routine Annual and Pandemic Influenza [open pdf - 44KB]
"Since influenza pandemics are relatively infrequent, public health agencies have limited opportunities to learn from direct experience with them. In contrast, routine annual influenza occurs each year with some predictability, and this routine occurrence offers important opportunities for public health and pandemic preparedness. Each routine annual influenza season presents unique challenges and lessons that may be applicable to pandemic influenza and other public health preparedness activities. For example, unanticipated events in the past decade, such as influenza vaccine shortages, high numbers of influenza-associated deaths among U.S. children, and unexpected surges in demands for patient care, have underscored the need for better preparation-specifically, the importance of early planning and responsiveness to different contingencies that may arise. With the specter of pandemic influenza before the American populace, the RAND team sought to harness opportunities arising from the annual occurrence of influenza to help public health agencies improve their response to routine annual influenza and to incorporate lessons into pandemic and emergency public health preparedness planning. Specifically, we set out to develop and test a 'Look-Back' methodology to assist state public health agencies (SPHAs) in systematically assessing their experiences from each routine annual influenza season and translating those experiences into future public health practice. A Look-Back is a quality improvement tool that seeks to identify relevant and applicable lessons for routine annual and pandemic influenza preparedness by asking a broad and diverse group of participants who have been involved in routine annual influenza activities to critically evaluate their management of the past routine annual influenza season."
2006 RAND Corporation.
RAND Corporation: http://www.rand.org/