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Volume 16, Number 1—January 2010

Synopsis

Laboratory Surge Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Outbreak, New York City Metropolitan Area, USA

James M. Crawford, Robert Stallone, Fan Zhang, Mary Gerolimatos, Diamanto D. Korologos, Carolyn Sweetapple, Marcella de Geronimo, Yosef Dlugacz, Donna M. Armellino, and Christine C. GinocchioComments to Author 
Author affiliations: North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System Laboratories, Manhasset, New York, USA (J.M. Crawford, R. Stallone, F. Zhang, M. Gerolimatos, D.D. Korologos, C.C. Ginocchio); Krasnoff Quality Management Institute of the North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset (C. Sweetapple, M. de Geronimo, Y. Dlugacz); North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset (D.M. Armellino)

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Table

Lessons learned during clinical laboratory response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009, New York City metropolitan area, USA, April 24–May 15, 2009*

The following were critical to an effective laboratory response:
1. Early assessment and decisive and immediate response by management to laboratory needs
Includes needs related to staffing, supplies, the LIS, physical plant, client relations, and local and state reporting requirements
2. Management of staffing needs
Plans for immediate cross-coverage by trained technical and nontechnical staff
3. Coordination of system general laboratories
Standardization of testing algorithms and prioritization of courier delivery to central clinical virology and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories
4. Enhanced reporting
Verification of LIS operations for patient-based reporting
Communication to treating physicians
Daily epidemiology reports for System leadership, Infection Control, and hospital administrations
Daily contact with local civic health officials
5. Enhanced client services
Increase number of staff to communicate results and respond to incoming calls, including scripted responses to frequently-asked questions
Maintenance by sales staff of specimen-collection supplies and communication of guidelines for specimen procurement and testing to outreach physician practices
6. Public relations oversight
Communications to news agencies were restricted to the System’s public relations office

*LIS, Laboratory Information Systems; System, North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System.

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