Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to determine the preparedness for pandemic influenza of hospitals, in terms of amount of antiviral drugs on hand and employee vaccination rates, in the Finger Lakes region (FLR) of western New York.
Methods: A survey of the 17 FLR hospitals was conducted via e-mail during the period of June 2007 to August 2007.
Results: A total of 13 of 17 hospitals responded for a response rate of 76.5%. Only 23.1% of responding hospitals stockpile antiviral drugs. Vaccination rates for personnel with patient contact ranged from 36.8% to 76.1%.
Conclusions: Hospitals in the FLR have insufficient quantities of antiviral agents stockpiled to provide for the protection of health care workers, and influenza vaccination rates for health care workers are low. To ensure that a high level of care is maintained during a pandemic, health care workers need to be provided with appropriate protection. This can be accomplished if hospitals stockpile antiviral agents designated for the treatment and prophylaxis of health care workers with patient contact and their families.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:55-61)