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 C. Data Collected by CO-HELP and CO-PHIL
Sample Report for CO-Help During West Nile Virus Service
General Call Information
The caller information captured should include:
- A call reference number.
- Start time.
- Call source (CO-HELP, CO-PHIL, etc.).
- Caller zip code/county.
- Call type (information, dead bird report, AE report, mental health assessment).
- Topic (West Nile, smallpox, other [to be added later]).
- Other box—to record a topic not listed.
- Caller and patient contact information.
- City, State, and County should be filled in for caller based on the previously entered zip code.
- Multiple options should be given for return contact type. Examples:
Notes—A general call-information notes box for the consultant to enter any important
Bold items are required.
One of the main functions of the system is to allow Information Providers to share
information from a document base of frequently asked questions (FAQs). These are documents
containing text and pictures about the different topics a caller would have questions about. As
documents are found to answer the caller's questions, an entry is made to record that that
document was used for reporting.
In addition, the document system must allow for searching using two levels of keywords.
The first level keyword will provide a list of related subjects. The subject will limit the results to
a set of documents.
FAQ1—What is the smallpox vaccine?
FAQ2—Who should not get the vaccine?
FAQ3—Should my children get vaccinated?
If an answer cannot be found in the existing set of documents, the information provider must
be able to take notes about what the request was for and indicate that the information was not
found. If this is indicated, an E-mail message should be formatted and sent to the system's
defined E-mail address as soon as the call is ended.
Subject: Requested Information Not Available
A caller asked for the following information:
Can my cat get smallpox?
123 Main St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80103
Contact Method: Home
In a public health emergency, the need for the call center to involve other health care
providers in a timely manner has been defined as a requirement. The system must be able to
track pages sent to other health care providers, and provide a viewable list of open callbacks, so
the consultant can quickly correlate a callback with a call. The system should also provide
notification of when a defined time limit for the return of a page has been exceeded so the page
can be sent again or escalated. If a page is not returned in the allotted timeframe, the system will
also send an E-mail to a specified address logging that a page was not returned. There are a
number of different paging contacts that should be listed before the page sent is recorded. The
software does not have to send the page (although this would be optimal), but must be able to
record when an Information Provider manually sends a page.
The system must be able to accept existing and new decision trees specific to the call type.
If a call is received on smallpox, the decision trees available should be limited to those approved
for managing smallpox cases. If a West Nile virus bird report is needed, the decision tree should
walk the consultant through the appropriate questions to determine the outcome of the bird
identification. The results must be stored with the call record.
Depending on the type of call, additional information may need to be gathered to send to an
outside agency. This data must be collected and exported into a common file format
(Microsoft® Excel, etc.), so it can be sent to an outside agency. An example of this is the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Vaccine Adverse Event Report System
(VAERS) form used for reporting adverse vaccine reactions. The Information Provider should
be able to bring up a form to collect this data, and a function should be available to export any
VAERS data by an administrator.
Most of our reporting requirements are standard and include things such as call volume, call
types, information given, demographics collected. However, in certain report gathering
situations, such as dead bird reports or VAERS reports, we are required to E-mail the report to
designated State/county E-mail addresses within 24 hours.
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