ITEMS IN FPM ON TOPIC:
In recent years, there has been an increase in patients refusing to get immunized, concerned with potential side effects or unconvinced that the shots are necessary. That has allowed some previously declining diseases to make a resurgence. Physicians, who remain the biggest influence on whether patients get vaccinated, need to find ways to address and overcome these reservations when talking with patients about getting immunized. Strategies include explaining the risks and benefits of vaccination; steering patients toward factual, pro-vaccination websites and literature; and working with community leaders and clergy who may also influence patients' decisions about vaccination.
The article, based on the author's plenary at the 2007 Assembly, describes procedures that family medicine practices should take to prepare for pandemic influenza, natural epidemics and bioterrorism -- emphasizing detection, prevention and management.
The article describes one family physician's efforts to organize flu vaccination for an entire rural county in Oklahoma and the resulting improvements in vaccine coverage and office efficiency.
When a strep test led to a lawsuit, this physician took the stand in defense of common sense.
The author advises readers on CPT codes for vaccines, how to bill administration codes, and whether evaluation and management services may be separately reported on the same date as vaccination.
Optimal outcomes will depend on close collaboration between family physicians and public health officials. Is your practice ready?
The article is part of the Point of Care Guides series. It offers an evidence-based tool for deciding whether to hospitalize a patient who has pneumonia, but it also acknowledges the crucial role of physician judgment.
The author offers advice on preparing the family practice for a flu pandemic. The article includes several reference tables and forms that would be useful in the event.
Jan 2006 Issue
Influenza Pandemic: Preparing for the Unpredictable [From The Editor]
How much should you prepare for a crisis that may not happen?
Based on his office's experience, the author shares the lessons he learned during a pertussis outbreak and offers readers a practical approach to dealing with a similar outbreak.