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New Web-based Tool Helps Planners Inventory Resources for Public Health Emergencies

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Press Release Date: May 23, 2005

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released the Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory, a new Web-based tool to help local, regional, and state planners compile customized inventories of health care and emergency resources. The tool allows communities to assess their regional supply of critical resources, prepare for incident response, estimate gaps, and support future resource investment decisions.

The new resource inventory helps first responders figure out where emergency equipment and medicines are located, how much is available, and whom to contact to obtain those resources. Developed by Abt Associates and Geisinger Health System for AHRQ's Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Program, the Web-based tool has been pilot tested in an eight-county region of rural Pennsylvania with the support of county commissioners and emergency management coordinators. Planners in other areas may download the free software tool from AHRQ's Web site and customize the inventory structure to meet their needs.

"This tool helps communities prepare for and cope with potential emergency events by helping them identify gaps in their supply inventories," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "Communities can review their resources and ensure that they are prepared for any emergency."

In addition to the software tool, an implementation report for project managers overseeing implementation and use of the resource inventory tool provides an overview of the system and describes the Pennsylvania pilot test and lessons learned. A separate technical manual summarizes the installation process, security and confidentiality protections, reporting functions, steps to monitor data quality, and communicating with users.

The Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory software tool and accompanying supporting documents can be found online at http://www.ahrq.gov/research/epri/. AHRQ has funded more than 50 emergency preparedness-related studies, workshops, conferences, and other activities to help hospitals and health care systems prepare for medical emergencies. Information about these projects can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/prep/. AHRQ publications are available on request by calling (800) 358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1271 or (301) 427-1685.


 

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