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Using RealOpt-POD© to determine staffing capabilities during an infectious disease emergency

Ojiere, Glory (2014) Using RealOpt-POD© to determine staffing capabilities during an infectious disease emergency. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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In the event of an infectious disease emergency, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) may have to open Points-of-Dispensing (PODs) in order to administer life-saving medical countermeasures to the public. Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, local public health agencies are expected to demonstrate their ability to dispense medication or vaccine to everyone in their identified population within 48 hours. ACHD has designated 50 schools as public PODs throughout the county. In the event that all sites are activated, ACHD would need to supplement its workforce in order to provide adequate staffing to meet this capability. ACHD used RealOpt-POD©, a software tool designed to assist public health agencies, to determine optimal resource allocation for PODs, aiding in predicting staffing shortages and establish limitations on dispensing throughput. The public health significance of this project is in planning for infectious disease emergencies. RealOpt-POD© was used to model an influenza outbreak requiring mass vaccination. Information about ACHD’s workforce, including licensures, was inputted into RealOpt-POD©. Data about 548 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) members was also included to supplement the workforce. RealOpt-POD© took into account whether or not an individual was licensed to give a vaccine. The model estimated the maximum number of people that can be treated with the available workforce within 48 hours at 50 PODs. In addition, RealOpt-POD© projected the minimum number of personnel needed to vaccinate the entire county. With 50 open PODs, the minimum number of workers needed to vaccinate the Allegheny County population (1.2 million) within 48 hours is 3,514. Assuming that 10% of MRC volunteers would assist, an additional 3,110 workers are needed. 45% of these workers should be licensed to give a vaccine. The maximum number of citizens that can be treated without the additional workers is 71,112. With its workforce alone, ACHD will not be able to provide vaccinations to the entire county within 48 hours. These results demonstrate that recruiting medically-oriented individuals should be a priority for the MRC and the ACHD may have to look to alternative staffing pools to ensure the ability to operate all 50 sites.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ojiere, Glory
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberOjha, Anilano7@pitt.eduANO7UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBjerke, Elizabethschmidte@pitt.eduSCHMIDTEUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPIA - Master of Public and International Affairs
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2015 22:38
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2021 10:55

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