SOURCE Transit of Venus
Advisory panel examined vaccine delivery process as a first step toward improvement
PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The SHAPE (Storage, Handling, Administration, and Preparation Experts) Vaccine Delivery Working Group announces the publication of a paper discussing issues identified in the vaccine delivery process as a critical first step in continuous process improvement.
From Refrigerator to Arm: Identifying Issues in Vaccine Delivery, the first of two papers regarding this issue, was published in the journal Vaccine on May 1. The members of the working group also served as authors for the paper and include immunization experts from national immunization policy organizations; state, regional, and local immunization programs; and vaccinating health care practices.
Vaccines are one of the greatest achievements in public health, but to maintain their integrity and the success of vaccination programs, proper handling – from the receipt of shipment through administration to the patient -- is critical. Given the extensive development of numerous highly effective vaccines and the implementation of policies to increase access, the working group first came together in May 2012 with a primary objective of identifying issues in the vaccine delivery process as a critical first step in continuous process improvement.
A major challenge with vaccine delivery is its complexity in each area of the process requiring many specific steps. From Refrigerator to Arm discusses how errors can occur throughout the vaccine preparation and delivery process, and how a mistake at any point – from vaccine acquisition, storage and handling to preparation and administration – could lead to a variety of potential issues. Gaps between recognized guidance and actual clinical process increase the risk of medication errors, inappropriate dosing, and potential adverse events for patients.
"Ensuring the highest quality of care for all who receive vaccines, from the very young to older adults ultimately realizes the full value of vaccines -- to confer protection against devastating but preventable disease," said L.J. Tan, MS, PhD, chief strategy officer, Immunization Action Coalition, and the paper's lead author. "Re-evaluating and streamlining the vaccine delivery system – even simply ensuring proper storage or minimizing preparation steps – can achieve our goal of ensuring continuous process improvement."
The working group found that the complexity of the vaccine delivery process is often underestimated, particularly in the areas of vaccine preparation and administration, demonstrating a need for simplification and standardization of all aspects of vaccine delivery to help reduce the potential for errors.
During a follow-up meeting in November 2012, the panel reconvened to discuss continuous process improvement for vaccine delivery and the development of specific recommendations for the practical steps that can be taken to address the issues identified within each area of the vaccine delivery process. A second paper discussing the results of this meeting is currently being developed.
From Refrigerator to Arm: Identifying Issues in Vaccine Delivery can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14002308?
?Transit of Venus
The SHAPE (Storage, Handling, Administration, and Preparation Experts) Vaccine Delivery Working Group is an advisory panel focused on continuous process improvement in vaccine delivery and comprised of immunization experts from national immunization policy organizations; state, regional, and local immunization programs; and vaccinating health care practices. The panel convened twice in 2012 to identify issues in the vaccine delivery process and develop recommendations for potential solutions to address the issues, the outputs of which are detailed in this paper and in a follow-up paper to be published later this year.
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