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 M. HEALTH Contact Center Assessment Tool Set Description*
Bioterrorism & Public Health Emergency Planning and Preparedness Tool Summary
HEALTH Contact Center Assessment Tool Set
Purpose: The HEALTH Contact Center Assessment Tool Set provides ways to understand the magnitude of an emergency event from a risk communication perspective, and the staff, resources, and technology needed to meet information demands.
- Contact Surge Calculator—Provides a simple way to predict the amount of contacts (phone, Web site, E-mail, fax) that may be expected by a public health agency due to a bioterrorism or emergency event.
- Staffing/Resource Calculator—Provides a simple way to determine personnel needed to handle an expected amount of contacts based on industry standards. This tool will help agencies understand staffing and basic resource requirements for an internal contact center or hotline.
- Capital and Technology Expense Calculators—Provide a means to assess the facilities, technology, and equipment needed to handle an expected amount of contacts. The tool calculates the potential capital needed for resources not currently available. This tool will help agencies understand potential costs associated with an internal contact center or hotline.
- Surge Options Matrix—Provides a simple way to assess your agencies capabilities for implementing an emergency contact center or hotline and suggests potential options.
Intended Users: State and local public health and health care agencies.
Format: Microsoft® Excel workbook and narrative user guide.
How it Works:
- In the fall of 2001, the intentional release of anthrax spores in the Eastern United States caused much fear and panic. The Denver Health Medical Information Centers (the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center and the Denver Health NurseLine) experienced a 10 percent increase in call volume without an actual incident in the five-state service region (CO, HI, ID, MT, NV).
- What would your agency do to accommodate a surge in contacts from a public trying to get
- Could you adequately predict the potential volume?
- How would you begin to identify staff and other resource needs?
- Understanding the potential information demands related to public health emergencies and developing strategies to handle these surges is important for all public health and health care agencies.
- The user will enter data into the tools or view sample calculations to determine resources needed to meet potential risk communication demands related to public health emergencies.
- The user will review different options and strategies for handling these risk communication demands and better understand the requirements and resources for each option.
How to Obtain the Tool Set:
- Tools are available on the AHRQ Web site at: http://www.ahrq.gov/research/health/.
- AHRQ Grant Principal Investigator:
Gregory Bogdan, Ph.D.
Research Director & Medical Toxicology Coordinator
Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center—Denver Health
Street Address: 990 Bannock St., 4th Floor
Mailing Address: 777 Bannock St., Mail Code #0180
Denver, CO 80204
*This tool was developed by Denver Health Medical Information Centers under Contract No. 290-00-0014, AHRQ Task Order No. 6, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
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