H-PERLC Preparedness Research Dissemination Newsletter
Research News and Commentaries from the United States and Around the World
Developing a Critical Incident Registry (CIR): Developed in aviation safety, where they are credited with greatly reducing the frequency of air crashes, critical incident registries (CIRs) are a way to identify and critically analyze rare events—and responses to them—to drive learning and quality improvement efforts. Because public health emergencies are relatively rare, a properly designed public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) CIR could promote broader analysis of critical incidents to which the PHEP system responds, and help to support a culture of systems improvement efforts. These are the preliminary conclusions drawn by an interdisciplinary team based at Georgetown University directed by Dr. Stoto, collaborating with the Harvard School of Public Health and RAND. For more information, click here.
Developing Exercise Evaluation Tools: A research team directed by Dr. Biddinger at the Harvard School of Public Health, has created a web-based searchable database of exercise performance measures, which is intended to serve as a readily available resource for local public health and healthcare agencies of evaluation measures that have been created, tested and validated by the research team during multiple tabletop and functional exercises. The database has gone through the pilot-testing phase with our local public health and healthcare practice partners to ensure its functionality and usability. The database can be accessed here: http:www.lampsdatabase.com/report-tool.php
The Inextricable Relationship of Emergency Care, National Health Security/Preparedness, and Health Care Reform
Nicole Lurie,MD, MSPH, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response for the US Department of Health and Human Services presents her view of the intersection of the private health sector and federal partners when it comes to emergency and disaster care. She addresses the importance of ensuring high-quality care, integrating emergency care into the larger health care system, and coordinating emergency care across health systems. She says, “A high-functioning emergency care system is a critical component of a prepared overall health care system and a prepared country. If the system is under chronic stress, it will have difficulty responding to surges in demand from weather emergencies, pandemic infectious diseases, terrorist attacks, a bus crash, or a busy Friday night. How we balance health care reform initiatives with the day-to-day function of our emergency care system will in many ways define our health security and preparedness. As I have said over and over again, if we cannot do it day to day, we will not be able to do it on game day.” For the full article, click here.
Impact of Emergency Preparedness Exercise on Performance
Dr. Foluso Agboola, preparedness fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health investigated the impact of exercise participation on improving preparedness. The analysis assessed the impact of training, size of entity and years of experience in preparedness activities on response performance. Entities that participated more frequently in preparedness exercises performed better when tested on objective measures of response. For the full article, click here.
The Economic Impact of H1N1 on Mexico’s Tourist and Pork Sectors
Drs Dunia Rassy and Richard D. Smith from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently published an interesting article examining tourist arrivals and pork output and trade statistics This analysis estimates the economic impact to the Mexican tourism and pork sectors because of the H1N1 influenza pandemic. It also assesses the role of the international response in the context of this economic impact. For Mexican tourism, losing almost a million overseas visitors translated into losses of around $US2.8bn, which extended over a five-month period, mostly because of the slow return of European travelers. For the pork industry, temporal decreases in output were observed in most of the country and related to H1N1 incidence. By the end of 2009, Mexico had a pork trade deficit of $US27m. For the full abstract, click here.
The Human Impact of Volcanoes: a Historical Review of Events 1900-2009 and Systematic Literature Review
Drs Daniels, Dooling and Gorokhovich from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health describe the risk of catastrophic losses in future eruptions given the current population growth, proximities of major cities to volcanoes, and the possibility of larger eruptions. They present an historical review showing that volcanic events have caused a total of 91,789 deaths, 14,068 injuries and affected the lives of 4.72 million people between 1900 and 2008. The primary causes of mortality in recent volcanic eruptions were ash asphyxiation, thermal injuries from pyroclastic flow, and trauma. Mortality was concentrated with the ten deadliest eruptions accounting for more than 80% of deaths; 84% of fatalities occurred in four locations (the Island of Martinique (France), Colombia, Indonesia, and Guatemala). For the full abstract, click here.