156601 New Disaster Information Management Research Center at the National Library of Medicine: Update for public health workers

Monday, November 5, 2007: 10:45 AM

Steven J. Phillips, MD , National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD
Cynthia B. Love #Env, MLS , Specialized Information Services Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD
Stacey J. Arnesen, MS , Specialized Information Services Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, has announced a new effort to create a Disaster Information Management Research Center as part of the federal effort to prevent, respond to, and reduce the adverse health effects of disasters in partnership with local communities. “Disaster” includes public health emergencies, man-made disasters including chemical, biological or radiation events, and natural disasters such as pandemic influenza and catastrophic storms. The Center's informatics research agenda will include “real time” surveillance technologies to alert appropriate responders to cluster biological events and information to support Continuity of Operations (COOP) programs. The Center will research communication technologies for access to health information when electrical power, the Internet, and other forms of communications are affected. This research will help ensure timely, continuous access to critical health information needed by first responders, public health workers, clinicians, and patients.

Research on disaster health information will identify health topics and information resources essential for all-hazards preparedness, response, and recovery. This research will focus on resources for online and offline health information about treatment of acute injuries and outbreaks as well as management of chronic illnesses, access to clinical consultations and expertise, and access to patient information.

As part of its nationwide disaster planning, NLM is also working with its National Network of Libraries of Medicine's eight regional libraries and 6000 member libraries to enhance the network's key role in emergency planning and providing disaster information at the local level.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the critical role of health information access in times of disaster. Describe the goals and scope of the Center as part of the federal response to public health emergencies and disasters. 2. Describe the information and infrastructure resources available for public health workers in times of disaster from the National Library of Medicine and its regional and local library partners. Describe the Central American Network on Disaster and Health Information, a joint project of NLM and PAHO. 3. Describe research funded by NLM in public health informatics, specifically in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Keywords: Disasters, Health Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.