Online Program

Prioritizing Laboratory Data for Decision Making in Situational Assessment and Response

Monday, November 2, 2015

Donald Eby, PhD, Civil Health - CDC, Booz Allen Hamilton, Atlanta, GA
Daniel Baker, PhD, Booz Allen Hamilton, Atlanta, GA
Dimitrios Koutsonanos, MD, MPH, Booz Allen Hamilton, Atlanta, GA
Laboratory test results directly influence decision making in the biosurveillance, situational assessment, and emergency response of infectious disease. Significant advances have been made in expanding the toolbox to detect and monitor the spread of infectious agents, but each have different sensitivity, selectivity, time-to-result, and expense.  These attributes must be weighed for each stage of response and public health officials must be cognizant in real time and understand how laboratory results should be prioritized for sound decision making. Herein, we show how the advantages and limitations of current and emerging laboratory assays and field tests that target DNA sequence and protein features, elucidate genomes, and identify other biomolecules can be used to prioritize results and effectively apply them in different phases of emergency response. Laboratory assays that are high throughput and rapid to detect such as real-time PCR are useful for tracking disease and agent moving throughout a population and the environment. Other assays that confirm viability are essential in crucial phases of situational assessment. Utilizing large datasets of laboratory data and geospatial visualization dashboards, we demonstrate how the prioritization of different types of biosurveillance data can empower public health officials to successfully manage the entire spectrum of situational assessment and response in real time.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Compare laboratory assay and test data for situational assessment Differentiate biosurveillance data for decision making in emergency response Assess large datasets in real time using geospatial visualization dashboards Demonstrate the triage and prioritization of biosurveillance data is crucial to sound decision making in public health assessments

Keyword(s): Information Technology, Bioterrorism

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently provide contract support in areas of biosurveillance, situational assessment, and response for CDC and DHS federal clients, including Laboratory Preparedness and Response and BioWatch Programs
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.