Hospital emergency preparedness: Push-POD operation and pharmacists as immunizers
Keith T. Veltri, PharmD; Vicken Yaghdjian, PharmD; Toshiba Morgan-Joseph, PharmD; Lendita Prlesi, PharmD; Ellen Rudnick, MS, BSPharm
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2012;52:81-85. doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2012.11191


Objectives  To describe Montefiore Medical Center's participation in a point-of-distribution (POD) exercise in which pharmacists were drilled on the ability to provide immunizations in the face of an emergency.

Setting  New York City on October 9, 2007.

Summary  Rapid and appropriate response to a terrorism event can limit morbidity and mortality. After the events of September 11, 2001, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recognized the need to develop a uniform procedure in the case of a potential health disaster. During the fiscal year occurring between September 1, 2006, and August 31, 2007, DOHMH requested that all citywide hospitals participate in a POD drill. All participating hospitals were required to have a team of five health professionals, including one pharmacist, one physician, two nurses, and another member of the institution. The drill was to be conducted within a 4-hour interval to simulate a situation of mass prophylaxis using influenza as a surrogate vaccine or pharmaceutical agent needed in the event of a public health emergency.

Main outcome measure  Number of health care workers immunized in 4-hour period.

Results  During the 4-hour period, the team was able to immunize 942 heath care workers. Predicting a 24/7 operation in the event of a biological terrorism event, the Push-POD operation would have the capacity to immunize 12,000 health care workers—the approximate population of the hospital—in 48 hours. This exercise was replicated for the 2008 influenza program, and the results were identical.

Conclusion  By allowing pharmacists to expand their scope of practice, New York State will inevitably see a drastic improvement in its adult immunization rates for influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations through greater public awareness and expanded vaccine access.

Sign In
APhA Members 
Welcome to JAPhA.org! Please log in below using your APhA username and password. Update your APhA profile.
Not a Subscriber
New to JAPhA? Become an APhA member to receive a full subscription to both the print and online editions.


Register for a FREE limited account to benefit from personalization features such as alerts.


Lee JJ, Johnson SJ, Sohmer MJ.  Guide for mass prophylaxis of hospital employees in preparation for a bioterrorist attack.  Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2009;66:570–5.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Krenzelok E.  Biological and chemical terrorism.  Bethesda, MD:  American Society of Health-System Pharmacists;  2003;135–46.
 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP statement on the role of health-system pharmacists in counterterrorism.  Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2002;59:282–3.[PubMed]
Teeter DS.  Bioterrorism preparedness: answers for the health-system pharmacist.  Am J Heath Syst Pharm. 2002;59:928–30.
 City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Guidelines for core deliverable H-Push POD. Accessed at www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/bhpp/bhpp-guide-deliverable.pdf, April 12,  2010.
 American Pharmacists Association.  Pharmacy-based immunization delivery: a national certificate program for pharmacists. 11th ed.  Washington, DC:  American Pharmacists Association;  2009:1–21.
 New York State Education Department.  Regulations of the Commissioner: §63.9 Immunizations and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis pursuant to patient specific and non-patient specific orders and protocols. Accessed at www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/part63.htm#immunization, April 12,  2010.
 New York State Education Department. Frequently asked questions: administration of immunizations. Accessed at www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/pharmimmunizationfaq.htm, April 12,  2010.
 New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. NYS immunization law. Accessed at http://nyslrs.state.ny.us/NYSLBDC1/bstfrme.cgi, April 12,  2010.
Steyer TE, Ragucci KR, Pearson WS, Mainous III AG.  The role of pharmacists in the delivery of influenza vaccinations.  Vaccine. 2004;22:1001–6.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of the editorial staff.
* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

JAPhA Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
  • Print
  • PDF Download
  • Email
  • Share
  • Get Citation
  • Submit Comment
  • Article Alerts
    Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
    You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

    Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

  • Letters To Editor
  • Reprints