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Health Emergency Assistance Line and Triage Hub (HEALTH) Model

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.
  • Date.
  • 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.
  • Name.
  • Address1.
  • Address2.
  • 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:
Cell 303-555-9876
Home 303-555-7388
Pager 303-555-9399

Notes—A general call-information notes box for the consultant to enter any important information.

End time.
Bold items are required.

Documentation Sharing/recording

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.


Topic: Smallpox
Subject: Vaccine
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.

Sample E-mail:

Subject: Requested Information Not Available

A caller asked for the following information:
Can my cat get smallpox?

Contact information:

Abby Normal
123 Main St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80103
Work: 303-555-2314
Home: 920-555-9879
Cell: 720-555-9089
Fax: 303-555-6752
Contact Method: Home

Consultation Management

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.

Decision Trees

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.

Other Forms

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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