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

Pochettino backing for Cortese

first_imgSouthampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will follow Nicola Cortese out of the club should the executive chairman leave. Press Association The Italian businessman is understood to be considering his position at Saints due to frustrations over the backing he receives. Cortese, who has overseen Saints rise from League One to the top flight, wants the Liebherr trust to underwrite his strategy for Southampton to consolidate themselves in the Premier League. The executive chairman will make a decision on whether to remain at the club within the next month and manager Pochettino has confirmed if Cortese leaves, so will he. Asked if he would be staying if Cortese left, the Argentinian said: “Of course not, because the person that has put his faith in me in this club and as a manager is Nicola Cortese. center_img “Nicola Cortese has basically been the reality at Southampton for the past four years. “Of course, the people that are in the club, that are part of the club, that are behind the scenes in the club were a little bit worried about what has been said. Me on a personal sense, I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here.”¼ A source close to Cortese, who has overseen Saints’ rise from League One to the top flight, said he will make a decision on whether to remain as chairman within the next month. It is understood Cortese’s current frustration centres on those in charge of the trust knowing little about football and not committing themselves to his plans. Cortese has told the trust he wants to take Southampton to the next level and wants them to support his strategy for doing so, including committing itself to underwriting some modest investment. Cortese feels he has proved he has handled the club well and his decision, controversial at the time, to replace Nigel Adkins with Pochettino four months ago has paid off with the Saints having secured Premier League status for next season. Cortese was instrumental in the purchase of Southampton in 2009 by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr, who died suddenly the following year. When I first arrived here, nobody knew who Mauricio Pochettino was,” the Saints boss added. “Nicola put his faith in me and knew me from way, way back. When I got to know his project, we were basically on the same wavelength as to what we wanted for Southampton in the future. Basically, my future in Southampton has to be with Nicola.” last_img read more