What is POD Assist?

POD Assist

POD Assist is a CDC web-based application that helps local and state health departments securely dispense and administer countermeasures to local populations through points of dispensing, or PODs. PODs include vaccination and dispensing clinics, and countermeasures include pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, respirators, personal protective equipment, vaccines, and other medical materials.

Public health organizations can use POD Assist during public health emergencies, such as disease pandemics, natural disasters, or national security emergencies, to collect and track information about countermeasures administered or dispensed to the affected population. It supports tracking at both individual and aggregate levels, which allows public health departments at all levels to analyze and report data to CDC if needed.

POD Assist allows public health organizations to quickly screen and triage people needing assistance during a public health emergency and determine which medical countermeasure and dose to dispense. It also keeps track of inventory levels to support better decision making and allocation of resources by public health responders.

How does POD Assist work for public health organizations?

POD Assist supports organizations that dispense medical countermeasures during public health emergencies, such as local or state health departments and federal agencies, by supporting dispensing workflows:

  • First, the public health organization contacts the POD Assist team with a request to set up a dispensing event.
  • The POD Assist team assesses the request and helps the public health organization set up a dispensing event through POD Assist.
  • The public health organization provides information about the dispensing event to the population affected by the public health emergency.
  • Dispensers use smart phones at the dispensing event to help administer and track countermeasures; no special training is needed to become a dispenser.

How does POD Assist work for populations affected by public health emergencies?

POD Assist mobile app

Once a public health organization has set up a dispensing event, POD Assist lets members of the population affected by the public health emergency register themselves and their dependents through their mobile device to receive countermeasures from a point of dispensing:

  • Once a person registers, POD Assist creates a QR code and displays it on the person’s mobile device.
  • The person presents this QR code to staff at the POD.
  • POD staff scan the QR code, which then displays the appropriate countermeasure to provide to the person.
  • POD Assist records the registration and countermeasure dispensed for each person, helping to reduce the data entry burden on public health staff.

For more information, e-mail ctscloud@cdc.gov.