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Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response’ Category

HHS Launches Resources System to Improve Disaster Preparedness

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. This effort resulted from the collaborative efforts of local, state and federal government agencies, regional health-care coalitions, academia, and partners from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.

TRACIE provides technical resources and a technical assistance center, a comprehensive national knowledge center, and multiple ways to share information between federal, state and local officials. TRACIE’s technical resources include a living library of audience-tailored and subject matter expert-reviewed topic collections and materials highlighting real-life tools and experiences. TRACIE’s resources include user rating and comments, which can be used to help choose the best resource for a particular need. Through TRACIE’s assistance center, state, tribal, local and territorial officials can reach subject matter experts for technical assistance and consultations on a range of topics. Technical assistance could vary widely, including pediatric preparedness resources, crisis standards of care, tools to assess the readiness of hospitals and health care coalition for emergencies, lessons learned about delivering dialysis care during disasters, and more. Officials also can find training related to preparedness, response and recovery. The assistance center is available through a toll-free number, email, and online.

TRACIE also includes an information exchange. Through this forum, health care emergency preparedness stakeholders can discuss, collaborate and share information about pending and actual health threats and promising practices. Users also can exchange templates, plans and other materials through this feature. Users can get advice, including just-in-time advice, from hundreds of health care, disaster medicine, public health and public safety professionals, through TRACIE. TRACIE’s free registration allows users to rate the usefulness of the resources and to access the information exchange.

Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Website Redesign and Content Update!

Redesigned REMM websiteRadiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) has released its first major redesign since its 2007 launch. The redesign includes a more modern banner, a new color palette and font style, and a new navigation system. There are now six content groups on the new home page. One of the most popular features, the Multimedia Library in carousel form, remains on the home page, with seven categories of multimedia assets. The redesigned site now includes behavioral health resources and material for additional stakeholders, including first responders, senior health care leaders, veterinarians and public information officers. Since the last major content update in November 2014, significant content updates have been added to the web site including:

Users who have previously bookmarked REMM pages of interest should know that all prior URLs have been retained, so the bookmarks will still work. Users who have visited REMM pages before may need to refresh (reload) the web page to see the new design. Otherwise, only the old pages cached in your browser will display. The majority of the information from the website can be downloaded for use during an emergency if the internet is not accessible. A smartphone app containing REMM information, called Mobile REMM, also is available for the Apple and Android platforms.

Healthy People 2020 Public Comments Open October 15 – November 13

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding objectives proposed for inclusion in Healthy People 2020 since the last public comment period in fall 2014. Healthy People 2020 will continue to provide opportunities for public input periodically throughout the decade to ensure that Healthy People 2020 reflects current public health priorities. During the first phase of planning for Healthy People 2020, comments were received regarding the vision, mission, and implementation. Those comments helped establish the framework for Healthy People 2020. Comments from the public also helped determine the final set of Healthy People 2020 objectives. During this round of public comment, input is requested on the objectives proposed for the following topic areas: Family Planning, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Preparedness, and Social Determinants of Health. The public comment period will be open from October 15, 2015 through November 13, 2015.

These proposed objectives were developed by topic area workgroups, which are led by various agencies within the Federal government. They have been reviewed by the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020 and are now presented for public review and comment. You are also invited to suggest additional objectives for consideration that address critical public health issues within the 42 existing topic areas of Healthy People 2020. All proposed objectives must meet the objective selection criteria. Please review these criteria prior to reviewing and commenting on objectives.

HHS Unveils First Compendium of Resources for Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the first online collection of the federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) sponsored the HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium to aid state, tribal, territorial, and local officials in health and emergency management as they guide communities in responding to and recovering from disasters.

The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS and partner agencies, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one. Categories range from patient movement to hospital care and from situational awareness to decontamination. Resources include platforms such as GeoHEALTH and the HHS emPOWER Map that use Geographic Information System capabilities to support health response as well as consultation services, such as emergency planning, disease surveillance and tracking, and food, drug and device safety. Resources also include personnel, such as medical staff from the U.S. Public Health Service and National Disaster Medical System who can deploy to communities to augment local hospital, shelter or public health staff. The compendium will be updated regularly and expanded as federal agencies add products, capabilities and services to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from the health impacts of disasters.

FEMA Launches New Data Visualization Tool

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a new data visualization tool that enables users to see when and where disaster declarations have occurred across the country. The data visualization tool allows users to view and interact with a wide array of FEMA data. Through an interactive platform, users can view the history of disaster declarations by hazard type or year and the financial support provided to states, tribes and territories, and access public datasets for further research and analysis. On the site, you can see compelling visual representations of federal grant data as it relates to fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance and public assistance.

HHS launches GIS-based tool for health disaster readiness

HHS emPOWER MapThe HHS emPOWER Map, an interactive online tool, launched today to aid community health agencies and emergency management officials in disaster preparedness as they plan ahead to meet the emergency needs of community residents who rely on electrically powered medical and assistive equipment to live independently at home. The new tool is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in its ongoing efforts to support community resilience and build national health security.

The HHS emPOWER Map shows the monthly total number of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries’ claims for electricity-dependent equipment at the national, state, territory, county, and zip code levels. The tool incorporates these data with real-time severe weather tracking services from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The integrated data accessible through the HHS emPOWER Map can help community organizations, including hospitals, first responders, and electric utility officials, work with health officials to prevent health impacts of prolonged power outages due to storms and other disasters on vulnerable residents.

NLM Theater Presentations at MLA 2015

The NLM exhibit booth at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Austin, TX, featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. The presentation recordings are captioned and accessible from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources page. The presentations include:

Note: To listen to the voice recordings and view the captions you may need the latest version of Flash® Player (download for free from the Adobe Web site). To maximize the presentation, use the Full Screen button. For more information, go to the NLM Technical Bulletin page.

NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative for Healthcare Professionals Responding to Nepal Earthquake

The National Library of Medicine has activated its Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) through May 23, to support healthcare professionals working on the response to the earthquake in Nepal. The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from over 650 biomedical journals and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. EAI is not an open access collection. It is only intended for those affected by the disaster or assisting the affected population.

NLM thanks the numerous participating publishers for their generous support of this initiative: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, ASM Press, B.C. Decker, BMJ, Cambridge University Press, EBSCOHost, Elsevier, FA Davis, Mary Ann Liebert, Massachusetts Medical Society, McGraw-Hill, Merck Publishing, Oxford University Press, People’s Medical Publishing House, Springer, University of Chicago Press, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer.

Resources on Earthquakes

NLM has several other resources that will be helpful for people working on disaster response:

Thirty-Five U.S. Hospitals Designated as Ebola Treatment Centers

An increasing number of U.S. hospitals are now equipped to treat patients with Ebola, giving nationwide health system Ebola readiness efforts a boost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals with Ebola treatment centers, with more expected in the coming weeks. Four of the facilities are located in California. Hospitals with Ebola treatment centers have been designated by state health officials to serve as treatment facilities for Ebola patients based on a collaborative decision with local health authorities and the hospital administration.

Ebola treatment centers are staffed, equipped and have been assessed to have current capabilities, training and resources to provide the complex treatment necessary to care for a person with Ebola while minimizing risk to health care workers. The additional facilities supplement the three national bio containment facilities at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will continue to play a major role in the overall national treatment strategy, particularly for patients who are medically evacuated from overseas. Facilities will continue to be added in the next several weeks to further broaden geographic reach.

CDC also released guidance for states and hospitals to use as they identify and designate an Ebola treatment center. The guidance covers the range of capabilities hospitals need in order to provide comprehensive care for patients with Ebola. HHS, through the CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), also provided technical assistance to health departments and hospitals.

NLM Resource Update: Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Website

The following updates and changes were announced in November, 2014, for the National Library of Medicine’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website:

  1. Initial Actions for Responders after Nuclear Detonation: First Receivers: Emergency Department Staff and First Responders: Emergency Medical Service Staff.
  2. Multimedia: many new videos and graphics including 13 new teaching videos from DOE / Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) available on the REMM web site and REMM YouTube channel. Also links to various new CDC teaching materials, such as Videos: Radiation Basics Made Simple.
  3. Protective Actions and Protective Action Guides: page redone with re-organized information and tables. EPA PAG Manual Interim Guidance included.
  4. Burn Triage and Treatment: Thermal Injuries includes links to new references for managing burns in mass casualty incidents with austere conditions.
  5. Legal Advisors for Medical Response to Mass Casualty Incident: new references and 2 new sections including assessment of state and local laws regarding management of persons during radiation incidents including legal authority to decontaminate and quarantine (CDC and partners).
  6. Nuclear Detonation: Weapons, Improvised Nuclear Devices Key References entire list re-organized and updated, including Medical Issues: Planning and Response Practical Guidance and updated Blast injury references.
  7. Dictionary of Radiation Terms: 2 new key references, NCRP Glossary of Radiation Terms and NCRP Acronyms List.
  8. Biodosimetry References updated and re-organized.
  9. Software Tools for Radiation Incident Response includes additional applications listed for biodosimetry, managing incidents, and recording radiation levels.
  10. Incident Command System and Hospital (Emergency) Incident Command System page re-organized with links to HICS, Fifth edition, 2014, expanded to meet the needs of all hospitals, regardless of their size, location or patient care capabilities.
  11. Mental Health Professionals now includes updated references on Psychological First Aid.