Planning Assistance for a Joint State-Private Sector Antiviral Dispensing Exercise

Planning Assistance for a Joint State-Private Sector Antiviral Dispensing Exercise

Planning assistance for coordinating and leading antiviral dispensing was provided to the State of Illinois’ during their Scripted Surge Antiviral Dispensing Exercise.

Recognizing a Need 

The Scripted Surge Antiviral Dispensing Exercise was a series of two full-scale exercises (FSEs) designed to establish a learning environment in which participating pharmacies could exercise emergency response plans, policies, and procedures pertaining to antiviral dispensing in response to an influenza pandemic. The antiviral dispensing exercises were complex and required coordination and oversight to conduct the drills.

The IEM Approach

IEM planned, developed, designed, and executed these two full-scale exercises at two pharmacy locations. IEM coordinated the HSEEP-compliant exercises by directing the planning conferences, managing the logistics for the FSEs, leading the exercise hot-washes, and developing the AARs. IEM’s ability to coordinate with subject matter experts, federal partners (CDC), non-profits (ASTHO, and NACCHO), and state and local public health officials, was critical in the successful execution of the exercises.

Innovating for Resilience

IEM coordinated with the external planning team in preparation of the exercise and developed the patient cards and backgrounds for exercise actors who sought medication from the pharmacies. IEM strived to make the exercise more realistic by adding challenges in the patient backgrounds to test the pharmacy and capturing prescription dispensing, and billing issues that a pharmacy dispensing antivirals during an influenza pandemic would likely encounter. During the exercise, IEM recorded the time spent by exercise actors at different stations within the pharmacy to get quantitative measurements for analysis.

Achieving Results

The exercise was successful in its ability to identify key strategies and solutions that could be used to develop emergency response plans for antiviral dispensing during an influenza pandemic. IEM performed statistical analysis of the exercise outcomes that were critical in assisting the CDC and ASTHO in developing their exercise summaries and briefings. The CDC used the exercise results to formulate new strategies for distributing and dispensing medical countermeasures during emergencies such as improvised electronic devices or the aftermath of a bioterrorism attack.

Expert IEMers

Dr. Sid Baccam, Manager of Emerging Technologies