Lessons Learned Review: Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada Response to the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic

 

Management Response and Action Plan Follow-up
Report Recommendations Management Response Management
Action Plan
Deliverables Accountability Current Status Description
of Progress

1. Further strengthen federal/provincial/ territorial capacity to prepare for and respond to pandemic influenza.

Agree

The Public Health Agency of Canada, in partnership with Health Canada, and in collaboration with other Federal departments, the Provinces and Territories, First Nations leadership and other key stakeholders is actively working to further strengthen the federal/provincial/territorial capacity to respond to a pandemic. Initiatives currently underway include:

a. the comprehensive review and revision of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector (CPIP) to include: adaptable and scalable pandemic scenarios, with this work being informed by active collaboration with mathematical modelling researchers and public health experts; streamlining governance; finalizing data sharing; and addressing issues related to First Nation communities on-reserve.

1. Comprehensive review and revision of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector (CPIP).

 

Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • (LEAD) Assistant Deputy Minister, Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
  • Director General, Strategic Policy and International Affairs
 

Health Canada:

  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Regions and Programs
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health

Completed

A Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan (CPIP) Task Group under the Public Health Network was established and is overseeing the revisions to the Main Body and annexes. Provincial and Territorial governments as well as relevant federal government departments have reviewed the revised CPIP. Main Body and authorized consultations with key national stakeholders. The CPIP is an evergreen document that will be continually reviewed and revised based on evolving information and experience.

b. the review of the pandemic vaccine strategy, including the development of new pandemic vaccine contracts which will ensure Canada's rapid access to a Canadian produced pandemic vaccine for all Canadians.

2. Review the pandemic vaccine strategy including the development of new pandemic vaccine contracts.

Completed

Three vaccine contracts were awarded in February 2011 for annual and pandemic  vaccine, including a back-up supply for pandemic.

c. the review of the national antiviral strategy to ensure that equitable access to antivirals is available to all Canadians consistent with updated evidence-based scientific recommendations, and that antiviral stockpiles are purchased and managed using the most sustainable and cost-effective strategies available.

3. Review the national anti-viral strategy to ensure equitable access to anti-virals and ensure that stockpiles are managed in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

Completed

The recommendations for national antiviral stockpiles have been developed through a three stage process. The first stage involved the development of updated scientific recommendations for stockpile size and composition. This work was undertaken through a review of current scientific evidence.

The second stage of the process identified the antiviral stockpile replenishment strategies that were available to address expiring or expired antivirals, and antivirals used during the Pandemic H1N1 2009 (pH1N1) response.

The third stage involved the identification of options for cost-effective and innovative antiviral stockpile procurement and stockpile management.

The National Antiviral Strategy will be revisited and reviewed as new information evolves.

d. active stakeholder consultations with national health professional and other organizations, clinicians, public health practitioners, as well as those representing Aboriginal and remote and isolated communities, are underway to assess guidance that was developed during H1N1.

4. Consult stakeholders to assess guidance that was developed during H1N1.

 

Completed

Stakeholder consultations held for Clinical Care, Public Health and Remote and Isolated, Vulnerable Populations.

Work is underway to identify best practices for the development of guidance documents in response to pandemic influenza.

FNIHB has also completed the Professional Practice Mapping Project, which aimed to improve clinical guidance (post H1N1) to front-line health care workers and allied staff working in on-reserve First Nation communities south of the 60th parallel. The results were presented at FNIHB's Professional Practice Advisory Committee and Senior Management Meeting.

FNIHB is also collaborating with Regions on the development of promising practices in pandemic planning (based on H1N1 lessons learned) and participating in the revision of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response's Module 5: Exercise Builder for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Communities.

2. Continue to clarify, communicate and test federal emergency management roles, responsibilities and mechanisms with particular attention to sustainability of response capacity and decision-making roles.

Agree

In response to a number of recent studies, reviews and audits on emergency preparedness and response, including pandemic preparedness, the Health Portfolio has been working on various issues related to emergency management. All elements of recommendation #2 are being addressed through ongoing activities of the Health Portfolio, with the Public Health Agency of Canada as the lead and with support and collaboration from Health Canada.

The Health Portfolio Emergency Preparedness Policy and Plan will be revised. Specific issues being addressed include the clarification of emergency management roles and responsibilities; the development of emergency operating procedures; surge human resource capacity; emergency management training; and a formalised methodology and governance structure for lessons learned.

5. Revise the Health Portfolio Emergency Preparedness Policy and Plan including clarifying emergency management roles and responsibilities; developing emergency operating procedures; surge capacity; emergency management training; and formalising a methodology and governance structure for lessons learned.

Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • (LEAD) As of May 2012, Director General, Emergency Management and Regulatory Affairs Directorate
  Health Canada:
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Regions and Programs
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health

Completed

In accordance with the requirements of Public Safety Canada, the Public Health Agency and Health Canada have completed the Health Portfolio Strategic Emergency Management Plan (HP SEMP). The HP SEMP provides strategic guidance for emergency management activities across the Health Portfolio, and describes broad objectives, roles and responsibilities and emergency management governance structure. The plan encompasses an all hazards risk-based approach to prevention/mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from all emergencies that may pertain to the HP's mandate, resources or services. The HP SEMP and the Health Portfolio Public Health Risk Assessment, integrates consideration of Federal Populations, including First Nations. The HP SEMP replaces the Health Portfolio Emergency Preparedness Policy.

The Health Portfolio Emergency Response Plan (HP ERP) is updated on an ongoing basis. It is currently being reviewed and revised to align with new policies and procedures; reflect HP organisational changes and changes to governance and roles and responsibilities. The updated HP ERP includes a Response Process that can accommodate dual/multiple events; and, address corrective actions identified in After Incident and After Action Reports.

A Health Portfolio Emergency Management Training Plan and a Health Portfolio Exercise Planning Cycle and Multi-year Plan have been developed and approved by the Health Portfolio Emergency Preparedness Committee.

3. Improve the Health Portfolio's ability to communicate science to various audiences.

Agree

Refine approaches for translating scientific knowledge into information useful for planning, decision making and communications.

The Health Portfolio will review its current practices for translating scientific knowledge with a view to exploring the feasibility of developing a specific science communications approach to ensure that scientific data is translated into information useful for planning, decision making, and communications.

6. Refine approaches for translating scientific knowledge into information useful for planning, decision making, and communications.

 

Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • (LEAD) Director General, Communications Directorate
  Health Canada:
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Affairs, Consultation and Communications
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Products and Food

Completed

 "A Clear Message : Health Canada's Guide to Improving Written Communications” was developed to help provide better safety information to Canadians. It was published on HC Intranet site in November 2010. Further to this, internal PHAC processes have been revised to better integrate scientific and policy knowledge to inform planning and decision making. A quality control framework has also been established to guide work.

Use appropriate language and formats for guidance documents.

An assessment of the guidance documents developed during H1N1 will be undertaken in order to develop best practices for drafting and disseminating guidelines during significant public health events. The best practices will include guidelines for the use of appropriate clear language and tone for the target audiences.

7. Develop best practices for drafting and disseminating guidelines during significant public health events, including guidelines for appropriate language and tone for the target audience.

Completed

New internal operating procedures are responsive to significant public health events and have been drafted to ensure quality control - including vulnerable population considerations. Communications participates in conference calls and WGs, and contributes to work as it relates to First Nations and Inuit communications. Messages are regularly tailored in a variety of products to meet First Nations and Inuit Health requirements.

Review strategies to communicate uncertainty, risk and shifts in scientific knowledge in order to build public trust.

a. A strategy will be developed to streamline and enhance collaboration with partners -including the provinces and territories, non-governmental organizations and national Aboriginal organizations - in communicating uncertainty, risk and shifts in scientific knowledge to various audiences. Existing communications channels will be considered.

8. Develop a strategy to streamline and enhance collaboration with partners in communicating uncertainty, risk and shifts in scientific knowledge to various audiences.

Completed

SOPs were developed and adopted and are on target for being completed in Fall 2011. A risk communications template was developed in Spring 2011.

b. An assessment of the Health Portfolio's ability to apply risk communications practices will be undertaken to evaluate its application and effectiveness in communicating risk and uncertainty during significant public health events.

9. Assess the Health Portfolio's ability to apply risk communications practices to evaluate its application and effectiveness in communicating risk and uncertainty during public health events.

Completed

To assess the Health Portfolio's ability to apply risk communications practices to evaluate its application and effectiveness in communicating risk, a literature review of reported attitudes, perceptions and behaviours during H1N1is being undertaken to inform risk communications planning and activities. The work was completed at the end of February 2012

Effectively communicate regulatory processes and mechanisms.

Health Canada will continue to develop information products to better communicate to Canadians and stakeholders the role of the regulator, including regulatory requirements for vaccine market authorization, the vaccine review and production process.

10. Health Canada to continue to develop information products to communicate the role of the regulator, regulatory requirement for vaccine market authorization, vaccine review and production processes.

Completed

A Toolkit has been completed and is publically available.

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