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Modeling Staffing Dynamics for POD Operations in an Infectious Disease Emergency

Houck, Olivia (2013) Modeling Staffing Dynamics for POD Operations in an Infectious Disease Emergency. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The effects of variables impacting mass prophylaxis point-of-dispensing (POD) staffing in an infectious disease emergency could potentially aid in preparedness efforts by advising recruiting, training, and emergency planning. This project aims to explore three factors that may impact staffing capabilities for POD: pathogen, absenteeism, and response rates. These factors were explored through building an agent-based model in the NetLogo modeling platform. An agent-based modeling approach was used to emphasize the impact of indirect interaction between individuals that results as roles are filled by individuals who volunteer first. This model set the environment at different absenteeism and response levels, and different POD staffing requirements based on pathogen (influenza vaccinations or anthrax antibiotics). To measure the effects of these variables, time-to-staff and staff shortages were recorded at the end of each simulation run. For influenza conditions, staffing capabilities became more constrained as absenteeism increased, and response decreased. However, for anthrax conditions, these constraints were very mild, and the differences in these trends between influenza and anthrax were significant. Overall, this model provides an example of staffing constrains that could be anticipated if such a model were to be developed for use in local health departments. Such a model could allow for planners to find staffing weaknesses before they manifest, and tailor recruiting and training efforts accordingly to create a staff pool that would be overall more able to successfully staff PODs in an emergency. The public health significance of this project is to provide a foundation for future development of this type of agent-based model to aid in public health preparedness planning.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Houck, Oliviaoch5@pitt.eduOCH5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPotter, Margaretmapotter@pitt.eduMAPOTTER
Committee CoChairMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.eduJMARTINS
Committee MemberGrefenstette, Johngref@pitt.eduGREF
Date: 27 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 March 2013
Approval Date: 27 June 2013
Submission Date: 22 April 2013
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: points-of-dispensing, preparedness, staffing, agent-based modeling
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2013 18:23
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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