HHS issues guide for using call centers in emergencies

first_imgNov 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a guide to help communities retool their health-related call centers into systems for meeting the needs of the public in homes or shelters during emergencies such as a pandemic or bioterrorist attack.Published by the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the 224-page guide is aimed at boosting the capabilities of poison-control centers, nurse advice lines, drug information centers, and health agency hotlines. It focuses on four main scenarios: anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, plague, and food contamination.”Community call centers have long been a credible source that people can turn to for health information,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, in an Oct 26 press release from the agency. “Leveraging these existing resources will allow clinics, outpatient departments, and emergency departments to devote their attention to caring for those in most need of help.”The report was developed for the AHRQ by Denver Health, a member of the agency’s Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks (ACTION) project, the press release said. A national advisory panel of experts in emergency call center services, public health, preparedness planning, and other fields helped draft the guidance.Few resources exist to guide the development of emergency call centers, the report says. However, the authors were able to draw from published reports on the experiences of officials in Toronto and Taiwan during the SARS epidemic.Guidance in the report assumes that the community infrastructure would remain intact so that call centers would be operable. Though the document doesn’t address absenteeism among call-center workers, it covers features, such as interactive response systems, that might reduce the number of employees needed to staff the centers.For communities that have little healthcare call-center capacity, the authors offer suggestions on how to enlist the help of local corporate call-center systems.The report focuses on six response capabilities:Health information to augment risk communications and alleviate the burden on the healthcare system; call centers could direct callers toward medication- or vaccine-dispensing locations and answer frequently asked questionsDisease or injury surveillance to help health officials identify emerging health threatsTriage or decision support to reduce unnecessary hospital visits and reduce costsQuarantine and isolation support to those self-treating or receiving medical care in their homesOutpatient drug information and adverse-event reportingMental health assistance and referralAuthors of the report also developed a tool set to enable public health officials to assess the call-center demand they would face during a public health crisis and what resources they would need to meet it. The set includes checklists and Microsoft Excel worksheets.See also:Oct 26 AHRQ press releasehttp://archive.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2007/callctrpr.htmAHRQ report on adapting call centers for crisis supporthttp://archive.ahrq.gov/prep/callcenters/last_img read more

Cricket News With Sourav Ganguly At Helm, Will India Resume Cricketing Ties With Pakistan? His Response

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Newly elected BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Thursday said that resumption of bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan was beyond his decision and would need approval from the prime ministers of both countries. During a press conference in Kolkata, Ganguly was asked whether cricketing ties between India and Pakistan will resume during his tenure. “You have to ask that question to Modi ji and the Pakistani prime minister,” he replied.The BCCI president-elect said that the board would need a green signal from the Indian government for any bilateral series between India and Pakistan since international tours are all through governments. “Of course, we have (to take permission), because international exposure (tours) is all through governments. So, we don’t have an answer to that question,” the former India captain added.The ties between India and Pakistan have been complex and largely hostile over the last few years. The last time both countries played a bilateral series was some 7 years ago in 2012, when India hosted Pakistan for a limited-overs series. The BCCI had taken a strong exception to the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama and asked the ICC to “sever ties with countries from where terrorism emanates”. The Indian cricket board had also considered asking the ICC to boycott Pakistan from the World Cup.Also Read | Cricket World Cup Every 3 Years? This Is What Ganguly Has To Say On ICC PlanEarlier on Wednesday, Ganguly had also spoken about the other aspect of the game — day and night Tests — and said that Indian team under Virat Kohli is capable of doing well in the format. “Day-night Test is the way forward. Every country has to play day-night Test, that’s a long-term future for Test cricket. They (India) are a good side, they will win day-night Test matches also. There is no difference in day-night Test matches and day Tests. It’s just a different ball. They are such class players, they can win,” Ganguly said. last_img read more

Panelists discuss climate change

first_img“One thing about me is that I’m a self-avowed scholar-activist,” Gibson said. “I consider myself an environmentalist, and I am a participant in a number of environmental NGOs.” “This spring series is looking at big problems or hot-button issues in bringing together scholars from different methodologies and training for a conversation,” McPherson said. “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth … these are one and the same fight,” Gibson said. “Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.” Approximately 50 students attended an interdisciplinary discussion on climate change and its impact hosted by the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study Wednesday. At the event, which is the third installation of the Spring 2019 Polymathic Pizza series, assistant professor of international relations Shannon Gibson, and assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering George Ban-Weiss spoke about how each of their fields is impacted by climate change.   “The Academy was created to give the very inquisitive, intellectually-curious students of USC a way to operate outside the confines of their discipline and think about how problems might be tackled across disciplinary divides using polymathic methods,” McPherson said. Following Ban-Weiss’ presentation, McPherson led a discussion about societal indifference toward climate change. Gibson said the indifference stems from the fact that western communities often don’t experience the effects of global warming firsthand. Ban-Weiss said his polymathic endeavors include performing songs about the environment on bass in order to impact broader communities. “A lot of these groups are already vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” Gibson said. “It was these groups that tend to suffer disproportionately from climate change who are often denied access to environmental benefits — things like clean water, sanitation — and are historically denied access to decision making.” The event was moderated by Sidney Harman Academy Director Tara McPherson. Hana Craft, a junior majoring in psychology, said she found the event to be thought-provoking. “It was really so profound to hear from people who have been working for years, even decades, toward understanding this topic and the ways that solutions may have negative impacts and positive impacts,” Craft said. McPherson said she observed a distinction between two “societies” — civil and uncivil — which demonstrate the uneven effects of climate change on groups that suffer socially and economically. “Materials in cities, like asphalt pavements and rooftops, historically are very dark and absorb a lot of sunlight,” Ban-Weiss said. “Part of the research that I do is [explore], ‘In what ways can we brighten up materials?’” Gibson’s research studies the role societal participation plays in politics, primarily from her perspective as an environmentalist and activist. Gibson spoke about the effects of climate change on international politics. Citing Ban Ki-moon, the former secretary general of the United Nations, Gibson said that many issues facing the world are interconnected. “The research that I do looks at climate change and air pollution but at a more local level — at the urban scale,” Ban-Weiss said. “The question is what can be done at a local level to actually affect the climate of your city.” According to the academy’s website, polymathy is utilizing a variety of interests and skills to innovate and solve problems. The Polymathic Pizza series pairs two professors from different fields in a discussion of critical issues facing society to highlight how various approaches and perspectives can come together to reach a solution. “In the United States, in Europe, in certain places, we don’t necessarily see or feel the tangible effects of climate change because we are, [for the most part], very much disconnected from the ecosystem,” Gibson said. Professors George Ban-Weiss (above) and Shannon Gibson discussed the intersection of international relations and environmental engineering during a panel Wednesday. (Dimple Sarnaaik/Daily Trojan) “It’s a musical concert that has a song cycle, —[the band] refers to it as a ‘Love Letter to the Ocean,’” Ban-Weiss said. “It goes through different parts that are environmentally related.” Ban-Weiss’ research uses field observations and quantitative models to study air pollution and climate change. Ban-Weiss said he tackles issues practically and locally rather than globally, since change on a massive scale is much harder to accomplish. One aspect of Ban-Weiss’ research focuses on how materials used to construct urban buildings contribute to climate change. His team has proposed adopting “cool roofs,” which reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it and could reduce Los Angeles’ average temperature by one or two degrees Fahrenheit. Gibson and Ban-Weiss each gave 10-minute presentations on their research and approaches toward proposing solutions to climate change.last_img read more