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Adapting Community Call Centers for Crisis Support

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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Appendix 4 (continued)

4.0 Interactive Response Tool Design Document

We chose to use the Department of Homeland Security's National Planning Scenarios to assure consistency with other preparedness and response efforts that are being developed. While these scenarios do not cover all possibilities for health emergencies, they do include a wide spectrum of disasters that communities could face. Though there are many other potential disaster scenarios that have been developed, these scenarios have been developed in a very structured manner and with participation of numerous Federal agencies.

We reviewed all 15 scenarios and determined which could benefit from utilization of the potential response capabilities of community health call centers. We then developed a matrix that lists each scenario including expected casualties, infrastructure damage, evacuation/displacement of persons, sheltering and victim care strategies. In addition, we determined the necessary potential community health call center responses. The six potential response capabilities for community health call centers include providing health information, disease surveillance, triage/decision support, quarantine/isolation support, outpatient drug information/adverse event reporting and mental health issues.

We decided to focus our model development on scenarios that: involved great health impacts, had potential for many "worried well" (those with little or no injury that could overwhelm health systems), could benefit from home management/sheltering in place strategies, and included intact community infrastructure so that call centers would be able to operate. It was determined that the four biological related scenarios (Biological Attack—Aerosol Anthrax, Biological Disease Outbreak—Pandemic Influenza, Biological Attack—Plague, Biological Attack—Food Contamination) afforded the opportunity to involve all six potential response capabilities for community health call centers.

The resulting applications are for:

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4.1 Quarantine/Isolation Monitoring Application

The QI Monitoring Application should have the capability to automatically place outbound calls to individuals in home quarantine/isolation to assess their current health status. The directions given to the quarantined person should be clear and the person should have the ability to repeat a message. The application will be designed to accommodate two language selections (English and Spanish) that the call recipient will select at the beginning of the call.

The application will call the quarantined person at the specified time periods, provide messages identifying the purpose of the call, require the person to select an option that reflects their current health status (transferring them to an information provider for assistance if needed), and provide information about who to call if assistance is needed before the next monitoring call. If a person does not answer a call upon the first attempt, the application will initiate a second call attempt within a defined time period. If the second call attempt goes unanswered, the application will flag this person as non-compliant. The QI Monitoring Application will also provide reports on compliance to further follow-ups can be made by appropriate agencies. Future scope changes will include ability to dial out 12,000 calls during a ten-hour period (requiring ten simultaneous outbound calls on IR).

The following application was the results of modifications following exercises with the San Luis Valley Region Exercise, October 2005 and the North Central Region Exercise, May 2006.

Application Data Flow
QI Main Call Flow (English)
QI 2nd Language Call Flow (Spanish)
Announcements
Call Record Table (Example)

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