Are You Ready for the H1N1 Virus?

October 1, 2009

As flu season gets underway, your practice will be on the front lines of the outbreak. Now is the time to prepare for an influx of patients and possibly a diminished staff.


As flu season gets underway, your practice will be on the front lines of the outbreak. You may already be dealing with an influx of phone calls from patients asking about H1N1 symptoms, and surely you are seeing more patients for flu shots. Now is the time to prepare for an influx of patients and possibly a diminished staff.

Flu.gov has a checklist to help medical offices plan for the H1N1 flu season. Here are few tips:

  • Develop a flu preparedness plan. Start by designating someone in your office to coordinate the plan, as well as education and training.

  • Consider a triage plan for the management of patients, including handling phone calls and separating schedules for non-flu and flu-related care.

  • You may also consider a separate waiting room area, if possible, for flu patients.

  • Develop a vaccine and antiviral use strategy.

  • Create a sick leave policy for your staff that includes guidelines on what to do when staff become ill or need to care for ill family members.

  • Be prepared for a staff shortage at a time of a patient influx.

Here are more resources to help you prepare your practice for flu season:

  • Listen to a podcast interview with consultant Nick Fabrizio on how to prepare your practice for the H1N1 virus.

  • ReadAmerican Medical News’ recent story on preparing your practice and staff for the H1N1 virus, and see the AMA’s flu page.