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Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory (EPRI): Administrator's Guide

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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Chapter 4: Operation

Operating EPRI involves several key tasks, including:

  • Creating user accounts for other persons (besides the EPRI Administrator) who want access to EPRI, either to enter inventory data or to run reports.
  • Monitoring the quality of entered inventory data, particularly if individual locations have data entry responsibility (as opposed to having the EPRI Administrator enter all EPRI inventory data).
  • Creating Resource and Location Groups so that frequently produced inventory reports and emergency requests can be easily created.
  • Responding to questions from EPRI users and troubleshooting the system.

Each of these tasks is explained in this chapter.

A companion document—the EPRI User's Manual—explains how to enter inventory data, run reports, and issue emergency requests for information.

User Roles and Registration

Once the setup and customization tasks (Chapter 3) have been completed, the EPRI Administrator will be able to enter inventory data for any of the locations entered into EPRI. If the EPRI Administrator would like other persons to either enter or access inventory data, additional EPRI user accounts need to be created.

User Roles

It is important for the EPRI Administrator to understand the different user roles. A role defines what a user is and is not able to do in EPRI. In addition to the "Administrator" role, users can be assigned one of four different roles:

  • Data Manager.
  • Data Entry.
  • Reports and Emergency Requests.
  • Reports Only.

Figure 4.1 shows the functions available to each of these user roles.

Instructions for Creating Users

To create an EPRI user:

  1. Select "Manage Users" under the Users & Organizations keyword.
    • The User Accounts page shows a table with one line for each EPRI user.
  2. Select "Add New Users"
  3. In the popup window (Figure 4.2), fill out the form.
    • The Organization dropdown list contains all the organizations created in EPRI. Many—if not all—will have been created as part of Setup Task 4 (Chapter 3), when Locations were created. (When you create a Location, you have the option of also creating an Organization with the same name.) If the user being added will only run reports in EPRI (i.e., does not have any data entry responsibility) and is not affiliated with any organization already in EPRI, you should first create an organization for this user. To create an organization, select Manage Organizations under the Users & Organizations keyword and then select "Add New Organization."
    • The Role dropdown list contains a list of the roles summarized in the table above.
  4. Select "Add New User."

Creating users who enter data for multiple locations

In EPRI, a user is affiliated with an organization. A location is also affiliated with an organization. In most instances, an organization will have only one affiliated location in EPRI, in which case you can create the organization at the same time that you create the location (go to Task 4 in Chapter 3).

However, you can also configure EPRI so that an organization has more than one affiliated location. This is useful if several locations in EPRI are affiliated with a corporation or a larger entity and a person at that corporate/entity will have EPRI data entry responsibility for all affiliated locations. In these instances, you have to create the organization separately, using the Manage Organizations page, before you create the user. The specific steps are:

  1. Select "Manage Organizations" under the Users & Organizations keyword.
    • The Organizations page shows a table with one line for each organization. Note that an organization is automatically created in Setup Task 4 (Enter Address and Contact Information) if "Create Organization with Location Name" is selected when adding a location.
  2. Select "Add New Organization."
  3. In the popup window, specify the name of the corporation or larger entity.
  4. Select "Add New Organization" in the popup window.
  5. Select "Manage Users" under the Users & Organizations keyword and then follow the steps above for "Instructions for Creating Users" and select the organization created in Step 3 above.
  6. Select "Manage Locations" under the Locations keyword. On the Locations page, select the edit icon for the locations affiliated with the corporation/larger entity and select, in the Organization dropdown list, the organization created in Step 3 above.

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Monitoring Data Quality

The Inventory Status page displays the Inventory Completeness and the Inventory Timeliness of inventory data entered for each location.

  • Select "Update Inventory Status" under the Inventory keyword.
    • The Inventory status page (Figure 4.3) shows a table with one line for each EPRI location, including the location's Inventory Completeness and Inventory Timeliness.
    • Inventory Completeness is the percentage of data elements on the location's inventory data entry page that have an entered data value (note that 0 is considered a legitimate value).
    • Inventory Timeliness is the percentage of data elements on the location's inventory data entry page that have been either updated or confirmed within the number of days listed in the "Timeliness" text box (next to the Search button). To change this time period, specify a number of days in the text box and select "Search."
Tip: The Inventory Status page can be sorted by Completeness or Timeliness by selecting on the column heading. Selecting on the column heading a second time reverses the sort order.

Sending E-mail in EPRI

E-mails can be sent to contacts at locations from two different EPRI pages: the Inventory Status page and the Manage Locations page. On either page, check the boxes on the right hand side of the data table for the desired locations, and then select the "Send E-mail to Selected Locations" link.

Tip: To send an E-mail to locations that have poor Completeness or Timeliness measures, sort the locations on the Inventory Status page by Completeness or Timeliness by selecting on the column heading. This enables you to easily select the desired locations.

Selecting the "Send E-mail to Selected Locations" link displays a popup for constructing the E-mail (Figure 4.4).

  • The locations to E-mail are displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the popup.
  • The E-mail To dropdown list contains three choices:
    • Emergency Contacts—E-mails will be sent to the E-mail address(es) of the emergency contact person(s) at the selected locations, as specified on the Manage Locations page.
    • Data Managers—E-mails will be sent to data manager(s) associated with the organization that the location belongs to, as specified on the Manage Users page.
    • Both—E-mails will be sent to both the emergency contact(s) and data manager(s).
  • The text you enter in the Message Subject and Message Body appears in the E-mails.
  • After you select "Send E-mail," messages appear in the popup that indicate whether the individual E-mails were successfully delivered.

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Facilitating Report Generation and Emergency Requests

EPRI users who want to either run reports showing inventory data or send emergency requests to other users must select both a Resource Group and a Location Group as part of that process. A Resource Group is a collection of one or more resources; a Location Group is a collection of one or more locations (go to Chapter 5).

The EPRI Administrator can create Resource and Location Groups in advance, in effect "making them available" for use by EPRI users so that they do not have to create Groups. While non-administrative EPRI users can, if they want, create Resource and Location Groups when running inventory reports or creating emergency requests, having a variety of Groups pre-made will save users time and will encourage use of EPRI.

For example, the EPRI Administrator should create a Resource Group and Location Group if:

  • There is a standard monthly or quarterly report summarizing inventory for a particular set of resources at a particular set of locations.
  • A local disaster requires repeated requests for information on a particular set of resources at a particular set of locations.

In addition, at a minimum, you should create a Location Group for each type of location from which you are collecting inventory data. For example, if hospitals and health departments are providing inventory data, create (at a minimum) two Location Groups called Hospital Location Group and Health Department Location Group, which contain, respectively, all the hospitals and health departments that are providing inventory data. This will enable users to easily run reports that compile inventory data from all these locations.

Instructions for Creating Resource Groups

Go to Task 1 ("Create Resource Groups") in Chapter 3 for instructions for creating Resource Groups.

Instructions for Creating Location Groups

There are two ways to create Location Groups in EPRI.

  • EPRI Administrators—but not other EPRI users—can create Location Groups by following the instructions below.
  • In addition, any EPRI user who can run an inventory report or create a new emergency request can create a Location Group "on the fly" when running the report or creating the request, because both the form for building an inventory report and the form for creating an emergency request have an option to create a new Location Group. Instructions for creating Location Groups this way are provided in the EPRI User Manual.
    1. Select "Define Location Groups" under the Locations keyword.
      • The Location Group page shows a table with one line for each Location Group in EPRI, with summary information about the Group, an Edit by Type icon, an Edit by City icon, and a Delete icon.

      Tip: You can print a listing of the locations in each Location Group on the Reports page.

    2. Select "Add New Location Group."
    3. In the popup window (Figure 4.5), select the locations you want to be in the Location Group.

The general steps involved in using the popup window shown in Figure 4.5 are:

  • Select values in one or more of the dropdown lists in the upper right-hand corner of the popup (e.g., a Location Type, a city, or county) and then select the Add Filter button.
  • The locations that meet the specified criteria are added to the list in the lower right-hand corner of the popup ("Locations that match ANY filter"). Locations in this list can be removed by either (1) un-checking the location in the "Include" column or (2) deleting the filter set by selecting the "X" in the list of Filter Sets In Use (in the lower left corner)—go to Figure 4.6.
  • Note that the criterion "miles within city" can be used only if the latitude and longitudes have been entered for both cities and locations (go to Task 4, Chapter 3). The distance calculations are "crow flies" distances, as opposed to distances based on the road network.
  • Assign a meaningful name to the Group in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Select "Add New Location Group." The Location Group will include the list of checked locations in the lower right-hand corner ("Locations that match ANY filter").

Location Groups can be edited (to add locations to the Group or remove locations from the Group) by selecting either of the two Edit icons for the Group on the Define Location Group page. One Edit icon lists the locations in the Group by city; the other lists the locations by Location Type. Both lists (either cities or Location Types) use expandable trees to display and select specific locations, just like the expandable tree used to display resources when constructing Resource Groups (go to Task 1 in Chapter 3).

Important Note: When you add a new location, the location is not automatically added to any Location Group. For example, suppose you create a Location Group comprising all hospitals (i.e., Location Type = Hospital) and then later create a new location that is a hospital. You need to manually add that hospital to the Hospital Location Group.

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Troubleshooting and Other Tips

The EPRI administrator will be the point of contact for EPRI users who have questions. The following tips address some of the questions that may arise.

What happens if a user repeatedly fails to log in to EPRI?

  • A user will be "locked out" of EPRI if he or she enters five incorrect passwords within 30 minutes. To unlock a user, select "Users & Organizations" under the Manage Users keyword, select the edit icon for this user, and check the "If Locked Out" checkbox.

Who receives E-mails from EPRI?

  • The Manage Location and Inventory Status pages have functions for sending E-mail to persons associated with locations. E-mail can be sent to Emergency Contacts (EPRI sends E-mail to the E-mail address[es] of the emergency contact person[s] at the selected locations, as specified on the Manage Locations page); Data Managers (EPRI sends E-mail to the E-mail address[es] of the data manager[s] associated with the organization that the location belongs to, as specified on the Manage Users page); or both.

Can the order in which resources appear on Inventory Data Entry pages be changed?

  • Resources on Inventory Data Entry pages are organized first by Resource Type and then by Resource. The Resource Type order can be set on the Manage Resource Types page. The Resource order can be set on the Manage Resource page. To change the order for either of these, select anywhere inside the Display Order column and then drag and drop the boxes on the right-hand side of the rows.

How will users know what a particular resource actually refers to?

  • You can enter in EPRI a definition or other explanatory information about a resource by selecting on the Edit icon for that resource of the Manage Resources page. On Inventory Data Entry pages select on the resource name to see its definition.

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