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Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory (EPRI)

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4. Inventory Has Automated and Secure Reporting

EPRI will create a number of automated reports. Some may be more useful for planning purposes, and others may be more useful for incident response needs. The Web-based inventory, and the reports it generates, must be secure. If the system were breached, the information contained within it, and the automated reports it produces, could offer abundant information to terrorists. Institutions involved in a competitive market place also need assurance that proprietary information will not be accessible to their competitors. For example, hospitals in a metropolitan area, competing for personnel, would not want to share information about the number of nurses, physicians and technicians they employ.

The need for utmost security necessitates a tool that can be hosted on a secure server by any state or regional agency compiling such an inventory. Access to EPRI is password protected and the data transmitted between the Web server and the user are encrypted. In addition, approved users are granted authorized access only to data at the level of aggregation they each need to accomplish their roles in planning or response. Those without a need to view aggregated data within a region, or detailed data about an institution or organization, do not have such access.

Table 1 provides a list of all automated reports that can be generated from the inventory. Sections that follow describe the reports and who has access to them. In addition to the automated reports, the inventory data can be downloaded into an Access database to build customized reports beyond those listed here.

As shown in Table 1, EPRI includes mapping capabilities. In particular, with EPRI you can:

  • Create a map showing the location of resources within a certain distance of a town.
  • Overlay demographic data on a map of the location of resources, so that you can study the relationship between resource locations and, say, population.
  • Obtain a map showing the route between a town and a location housing a particular resource.
  • Obtain driving directions between a town and a resource location, including the estimated travel time.
  • Create a map showing resource levels by county.

Examples of the maps are shown later in this section. Go to the Technical Manual for further details on how to set up EPRI's mapping capability.

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System Configuration Reports

The system configuration reports display how the inventory is configured: all of the resource types, location types, resources, and the matrix layout for resources within location types. These reports tell the system administrator exactly how the inventory is configured in case changes are being contemplated. These reports generate a summary list of what is available and can be utilized by moving through all the screens to look at each location type and the resource types and resources that have been activated for it.

The resource list report is intended for use by the system administrator. It lists all of the resource types (antibiotics, beds, etc.) and then all of the specific resources within each resource type. The report lists all 28 different resource types and hundreds of specific resources. It is a display of the structure of the inventory, as customized by a system administrator.

The resource location assignments report is also intended for the system administrator. This list goes through the specific resources that each different type of location may control, and identifies those resources to be included during the data entry process. Specifically it lists each type of location; then within each location type, it lists each resource type; and within each of those resource types, it lists each resource. The report also indicates whether or not a resource has been activated for that type of location. This report provides a view of the entire matrix of location types and resources. An example of this report appears in the Appendix.

The export Access database feature allows for the download of all of the data contained within the inventory into an Access database. This feature allows the system administrator to create new reports that are separate and independent from the automated reports included in EPRI. It could be that the automated reports created within EPRI do not meet all the analytic needs of planners. The system administrator and other planners may wish to work with the database themselves. This feature allows the system administrator to use the data in any way necessary. This is also a way to create an archive by which a copy of the database is stored each time data are reported (annually, semi-annually, or whatever frequency a system administrator selects).

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Senior Planner Reports

The location inventory is intended for senior planners and administrators, who may need to see all of the information associated with one or more locations. It will show how many staff are employed, what equipment is available, etc. for each individual participating location/organization. Access to this location-specific information should be tightly controlled. Due to the proprietary nature of the information, only those with a need to know should have access to this level of data. Competing hospitals, for example, should not be allowed to see each other's detailed information. This is a report that should not be needed frequently, and may never be needed in the course of normal operations of the inventory. Figure 2 (40 KB) is an example of the first page of such a report for a home health agency.

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Emergency Response Reports

Resources within radius is an incident response report that would be available to administrators, senior planners, and most importantly to incident response commanders as a real time report. It allows a first response commander in need of a particular resource to specify what is being sought, and the geographic area to be queried (the area around a disaster site). The report will list all organizations that are asked about the resource being sought, and will show the number of personnel or equipment resources of the specific type requested that have been reported by each organization. In addition, the contact person identified by that organization, their contact information, and the distance from the incident site to the organization will be listed.

In the hypothetical example presented in Figure 3 (30 KB), a first response commander needs to locate personal protective equipment within a radius of 50 miles of a chemical spill. The report obtained lists every location that has reported having personal protective equipment/suits along with a contact name/number, and how many suits are present at the site. In an emergency, a special request could be E-mailed to these locations requesting an update of how many such suits can be made available immediately, in 24 hours, and in 48 hours. The incident commander could also simply telephone the emergency contact person at each organization and ask these questions.

There is currently no report designated for Level 3; for security purposes all reports that show individual facility data are designated 2. A State may, however, decide to permit wider access to various reports and can re-designate the Resources Within Radius, or any other report, as Level 3 if desired.

The location of resources can also be displayed on a map. Map 1 (66 KB) shows the locations of Oral Cipro within 40 miles of the town of Ashley.

Demographic information can also be overlaid on this map to enable users to study the correlation between, say, population data and resource locations, as shown in Map 2 (81 KB).

When the user selects one of the names of the locations in the Matching Locations table (e.g., 'ABC Hospital' on Map 2), a map and driving directions are displayed that guides the user from the specified town to the location with the resource (Map 3, 81 KB; note the 'Start' and 'End' label on the map).

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Region-wide Reports

Four region-wide reports, which are intended for planning purposes, aggregate information about an entire State or region.

The aggregate inventory report (Figure 4, 11 KB) could be useful to planners and could be shared with others external to the State or region (a bordering State, for example) to display the information about the entire region.

The aggregate inventory per 1,000 report (not shown) presents exactly the same information, displayed per 1,000 population in the State or region. Such a report regarding decontamination tents, for example, might show that there are only a few tents to cover a million or more people, even though there are many chemical production facilities located in the region. This in turn might prompt regional authorities to invest in increasing the availability of this important resource.

The aggregate inventory by county report (not shown) is the same type of information, arranged by county. In the following example, the physicians (resource type) are displayed for a single county, showing the different types of physicians (resources) in the county. Note that full-time and part-time physicians are itemized.

The aggregate inventory by county per 1,000 (Figure 5, 26 KB) combines the previous two reports, and breaks down resources available in the county per 1,000 population. This report allows a proportionate comparison across counties in a region or state, so that planners can compare one county with another. Figure 5 is a hypothetical report comparing the emergency response equipment in two nearby counties; one county is larger and equipment per 1,000 more abundant while the other has a nuclear power plant.

County-level resource levels can also be mapped. Map 4 (54 KB) provides a visual display of the number of EMTs by county.

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Data and Report Security

In addition to encryption and password protection, security/access levels were built into EPRI. Each person entering data for an organization, or using reports/data from the inventory, must first be an authorized user with an individual UserID and password. When the system administrator is setting up a new user's account, s/he must assign an "input role" (entering data for one organization or not entering data at all) as well as an "output role" (organization staff, planners, external planners and VIPs, or emergency response commanders).

These security levels control what can be entered, and more importantly, what data and reports can be generated and viewed. A system administrator can alter these security levels for any individual user. Those security levels currently designed in EPRI may not quite match the requirements of all states or regions creating an inventory. The accompanying Technical Manual describes how to create new user accounts and how to set the security access level (input and output roles).

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