Nova Scotia Department of Health, Pandemic Influenza Operational Planning

Project Profile

Nova Scotia Department of Health, Pandemic Influenza Project Management Office

The Deputy Ministers of the Department of Health and the Department of Health Promotion and Protection jointly sponsored this project to help prepare the province of Nova Scotia to face a potential pandemic.  PMCS implemented a Project Management Office to plan and coordinate this complex initiative.  In the initial phase of Pandemic Influenza preparedness planning, PMCS developed a coordinated process that ensured the many stakeholder groups knew what to do and what they needed to meet their responsibilities under the plan.  A preliminary gap analysis identified many areas where further effort would be required to complete the operationalization of the plan and a coordinated process for gap analysis of plan components against specific acceptability criteria was developed, highlighting the need for project management tools. Using the framework of the Health Canada template for Pandemic Flu Preparedness Planning, content elements were considered in terms of their communications, healthcare human resources planning, finance, quality, infection control, IT, legal and ethical needs and constraints and were  used to help identify key stakeholder groups relevant to each section of the operational plan.  Throughout the project, the integration and coordination of activities across the continuum of care was fundamental to developing a workable operational implementation plan.  Stakeholders included other government departments, District Health Authorities, professional bodies, community organizations and the private sector.

PMCS worked with the Nova Scotia Department of Health to:

  • strengthen and support the project management infrastructure of this large and complex initiative;
  • liaise and communicate (both horizontally and vertically, across Departmental program areas and across the health system);
  • facilitate development of processes for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness planning that did not duplicate the effort being invested in the development of a business continuity planning by the Emergency Management Office;
  • assist in the system level integration of Pandemic Flu planning in the many stakeholder areas involved (for example by facilitating stakeholder meetings and/or reviewing compatibility of work by individual program areas); and
  • assist in the coordination of validation and testing/exercising activities throughout the development of operational plans.