199691 Using learning management system data and GIS to plan public health disaster preparedness training in Connecticut

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amanda J. Durante, PhD, MSc , Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Kristin Sullivan, MA , Workforce and Professional Development Section, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN , Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background: TRAINConnecticut is a web-based learning management system for Connecticut public health workers and their practice partners that allows users to access and document training.

Purpose: To identify strengths and challenges of using TRAINConnecticut and GIS to plan emergency preparedness training.

Methods: TRAINConnecticut data were used to create tables of the number of registrations and sessions per course by year, topic, trainee professional background and location. ARC GIS was used to map participation in individual courses by town/region and the location of training sites.

Results: There were over 42,000 registrations from 2003 to 2008. The tabular presentation of data was particularly useful for identifying training gaps by topic. Mapping was useful for visualizing regional training gaps. Geocoding training sites highlighted the effect that location had on participation. Mapping challenges included ensuring that shapefiles were coterminous with preparedness planning regions and choosing an appropriate denominator to compare areas of different size. Overall challenges included incomplete/misspelled registration data that hindered grouping by organization, profession and location. Course topics, as defined by TRAINConnecticut, mapped imperfectly to DHS target capabilities, limiting the usefulness of the data for disaster planning. Finally, the data provided an incomplete picture since some Federal, State and local preparedness courses were not listed on TRAINConnecticut.

Discussion: TRAINConnecticut is a rich source of information on disaster preparedness training. Most challenges can be addressed in the analysis. However, usefulness could be improved by ensuring that course topics correspond to the target capabilities and that preparedness training sessions are listed on TRAINConnecticut.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how data from a learning management system and GIS may be used to inform the planning of disaster preparedness training. 2. Explain some of the challenges of using learning management system data and GIS to inform the planning of disaster preparedness training.

Keywords: Training, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Public Health (Yale University) and a MSc in Health Planning & Financing (London University). I have conducted analyses of learning management data, using SAS and ARC GIS, to inform disaster preparedness training planning in the State of Connecticut (in collaboration with my coauthor Kristin Sullivan who is the Workforce and Professional Development Section Chief at the Connecticut Department of Public Health). I teach public health preparedness to Yale Masters of Public Health students and public health professionals in Connecticut as part of my work at the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.