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How do we conduct a drive-thru flu clinic?

The start of the new flu season poses an increased risk to the health of your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, it is important that your practice continues to offer flu vaccinations to your patients. As you rethink your flu vaccine processes, consider conducting a drive-thru flu clinic this year. These clinics can maximize staff resources and ensure patients are immunized for the seasonal flu. Here you will find our guidance on how to implement and manage a drive-thru flu clinic.

PREPARATION

  • Secure a location for the drive-thru flu clinic where there is adequate room for tents. An example of an appropriate location may be the practice’s parking lot.
  • Decide on dates and hours, including alternative times, to conduct the flu clinic.
  • Notify your patients of the flu clinic through:
    • Practice website
    • Patient portal
    • Patient email and/or cell phone text messaging
    • Social media
    • On-hold phone messaging
    • Signage in your office
  • Schedule appointments via phone, the practice website, or the patient portal.
    • Consider how many patients need the vaccine in order to determine the length of an appointment. An example of a timeframe may be five minutes per car for 1-2 patients.
  • Finally, notify patients with confirmation of their appointment time and instructions. (Download Curi’s sample patient instruction sheet here.)

Recommended Supplies:

  • Tent(s)
  • Laptop
  • Printer (optional)
  • Cell phone
  • Emergency supplies
  • Signage to direct patients to stations
  • Flu vaccines
  • Appropriate PPE (e.g., gloves, masks, and gowns), hand sanitizer, towels, Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, vaccine storage container, and sharps container

 

CONDUCTING YOUR FLU CLINIC

First, print the patient schedule, Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), and a registration form for each patient with their demographic information. This registration form may also be used to document the administration of the flu vaccine and for billing.

Next, set up the following stations for the clinic:

  • Station #1: Registration/check-in and COVID-19 screening. Ensure all patients and other passengers are wearing a mask. Provide each patient with the registration form to take to the next station.
  • Station #2: Before administering the flu vaccine, healthcare providers should ask each patient about the following:
    1. Allergies
    2. Egg allergies
    3. Reactions or adverse events, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome, after prior doses of influenza vaccine (individuals who have had severe allergies after previous vaccine doses should not be vaccinated)
    4. Current health status, including any current (acute) illness (patients with mild illnesses should be able to be safely vaccinated and those with moderate to severe acute illnesses—with or without fever—should be vaccinated at the discretion of the doctor and patient)

    After, have the registration form signed by the staff member screening as well as the patient/parent/legal guardian.

  • Station #3: Prior to administering the flu vaccine, staff should ask if the patient/parent/legal guardian has any questions. The vaccine will be administered to the patient in the car. The VIS will be given to the patient/parent/legal guardian. The staff will document the administration on the patient registration form.
  • Station #4: Patient/parent/legal guardian will be asked to park in the designated area for monitoring to ensure no adverse reactions occur. Staff will monitor the patient(s) for 10-15 minutes.

Lastly, ensure all vaccine-related information and the registration form is scanned into the patient’s medical record.


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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.