The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network – Nebraska team attended the PATCH (Planned Approach to Community Health) Health Fair in Norfolk, Nebraska in mid-September.

“Our goal was to connect with and engage fair attendees to educate and improve their knowledge of sepsis, promote the importance on immunizations and increase the awareness of proper antibiotic use,” stated Paula Sitzman, RN, BSN; Quality Improvement Advisor with the Great Plains QIN.

An estimated 2,000 – 4,000 people attend the PATCH Health Fair each year.

Many Norfolk employers encourage their employees to attend as part of their corporate wellness program. The health fair offers opportunities to get blood drawn, have blood pressure checked, receive a mammogram, check HgbA1C levels, get a flu shot, walk in the colon tunnel, practice CPR and/or give blood. Health fairs are an efficient and effective way to provide employees with a variety of helpful information and services in a short amount of time in a convenient location.

The Great Plains QIN team engaged with over 300 attendees to share information on responsible antibiotic use, the dangers of sepsis and the importance of immunizations. Attendees were engaged and appreciated the resources available, including sepsis refrigerator magnets. Attendees also had the opportunity to ‘test their sepsis knowledge’ with a game offering sepsis myths, facts and prevention.

Based on an informal inquiry, of the 300 plus people that GPQIN spoke with, only 10 percent did not typically receive their annual influenza vaccination and did not intend to do this year.

“The PATCH Health Fair is an excellent environment to engage Medicare and non-Medicare beneficiaries to discuss the value of getting the flu vaccine annually, learning about sepsis, and why it is important to only take antibiotics as prescribed,” Sitzman concluded.