An emergency medical services surveillance system: The daily situational awareness tool (DSAT)
Methods: Syndromic surveillance, prehospital system stress surveillance, air quality, weather, and heat surveillance databases are combined in one location to provide an overview of the health, available resources, and possible hazards. The DSAT shows the status and the alert level for each of the public health indicators and each has its own summary report detailing current conditions. Together, the current status of these indicators is reported and relayed to the Public Health Officer and the emergency preparedness team daily.
Results: The DSAT provides a current, up-to-date summary of the health and possible threats to the County of San Diego. This information has been used to prepare for and respond to local public health threats, including heat emergencies and influenza epidemics. The use of this tool has expedited our response time to emergencies, protecting the health and livelihood of residents.
Conclusions: Emergency and disaster preparedness are a crucial function of local public health departments. The use of a daily situational awareness tool can help in the anticipation of an emergency and provide local officials with the necessary data to quickly and adequately respond.
Learning Areas:Communication and informatics
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Describe a daily surveillance tool critical to emergency preparedness and disaster planning. Design a daily surveillance system that integrates information from multiple public health providers into a cohesive view of the public health system status for emergency preparedness and disaster planning. Identify key indicators of local daily hazards and demand on the emergency medical services system.
Keyword(s): Disasters, Emergency
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist with the County of San Diego and have been the principle or co-principle of several disaster preparedness projects as well as co-principle of multiple surveillance and epidemiological analyses related to the health of San Diego County Residents. Among my scientific interests has been the epidemiology of injury, chronic disease, and innovative health education campaigns.
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.