Managing pandemic influenza in general practice

A guide for preparation, response and recovery
4. Overview of PPRR
☰ Table of contents

The next four chapters of this guide provide an overview of the key areas of PPRR. These key areas are consistent with Australia’s overall strategic approach to emergency management.

In general practice, prevention and preparedness activities should form part of everyday practice. How prepared a practice is will ultimately determine the effectiveness of their overall response and recovery efforts. While it is widely recognised that general practice services are extremely busy, it is strongly recommended that practices take time to undertake rigorous preparedness activities.

It is recommended that practices develop or revise and update their pandemic plan for the practice annually. It is suggested that this is done every February, so that practices are also prepared for the regular flu season.

General practices will be required to implement their response strategies just prior to and during a pandemic. The level of response required will be dependent on the current pandemic stage as determined by the Commonwealth Government. While the response chapter of this guide provides advice regarding the key response activities that practices should undertake during a pandemic, the Implementation guide provides direction regarding the specific tasks to undertake during the relevant stages of the pandemic (as outlined in the AHMPPI).

During the recovery phase, practices should assess the impacts of the pandemic and learn from what was managed well or poorly during their response efforts. It is suggested that practices incorporate all learnings into future pandemic planning (preparedness stage). As described earlier, preparedness activities are crucial and help ensure the effectiveness of a practice’s response efforts.

Figure 4 shows how preparedness is central to all other pandemic activities. In the context of pandemic influenza, preparedness is the capability to ‘prevent, protect against, respond quickly to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities’.21

Figure 4. Preparedness capabilities
Preparedness capabilities

  1. Nelson C, Lurie N, Wasserman J, Zakowski S. Conceptualizing and defining public health emergency preparedness. Am J Public Health, 2007;97:S9–11.