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Colorado’s Health Emergency Line for the Public (COHELP): Addressing Surge Capacity through Information Exchange

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Colorado’s Health Emergency Line for the Public (COHELP): Addressing Surge Capacity through Information Exchange. Gregory M. Bogdan, Ph.D. Research Director Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center Denver Health Denver, CO. Public Risk Perception. Hotline Contacts (% population).

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slide1

Colorado’s Health Emergency Line for the Public (COHELP): Addressing Surge Capacity through Information Exchange

Gregory M. Bogdan, Ph.D.

Research Director

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center

Denver Health

Denver, CO

public risk perception
Public Risk Perception

Hotline Contacts

(% population)

Event specifics (bioterrorism, child-targeted, new emerging disease) will effect the amount of public concern and numbers of people having information or others needs.

challenge for preparedness
Challenge for Preparedness
  • 2004 Redefining Readiness Project*
    • 60% of public would not heed official instructions to get vaccinated during smallpox outbreak
    • 40% of public would not heed official instructions to shelter in place during a dirty bomb incident

* R. Lasker, Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health (www. cacsh.org)

public needs information on
Public Needs Information on…..
  • General topic/event information
  • Public health messages
    • Personal and family protection
    • State/local health dept guidelines
    • Points of contact for referral agencies
  • Health decision-support and evaluation
natural fits
“Natural Fits”
  • Poison control centers
  • Nurse advice lines
  • Drug information centers
  • Public health agencies
slide6

How a Medical Call Center Works

Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities

M

C

C

General

Public

patient surges reduced by providing information and triage through multiple paths

Voice

Fax

Video

Email

Web

Fax Email

Voice Web

Video

Health

Professionals

Local & State Public Health Agencies

cohelp objectives
COHELP Objectives
  • Develop a standardized and prepared response to public health events
  • Provide consistent, accurate information
  • Collect and maintain structured data to better characterize events and responses
  • Develop capability and capacity to adapt to emerging public health emergencies
cohelp service users
COHELP Service Users

Public

Healthcare

Providers

COHELP

877-462-2911

Clinics

Schools

Health

Agencies

Hospitals

& EDs

referral procedures
Referral Procedures

Caller

COHELP

Poison

Center

Nurse

Line

Local Health

Agencies

CDPHE

Healthcare

Providers

provides 1 on 1 information
Provides 1-on-1 Information

Toronto – SARS outbreak, Mar to Jun 2003

Total Calls = >300,000

Peak Daily Calls = 47,567

Deaths: 44 Cases: 438

COHELP – Two Outbreaks, Jul to Dec 2003

Total Calls = 36,170

West Nile Virus (WNV) Calls = 12,555

Deaths: 47 Cases: 2,543

Influenza/Pneumonia Calls = 23,615

Deaths: 809 Cases: 11,427

reduces hospital surge
Reduces Hospital Surge
  • United States Poison Control Centers
    • Of 2.4 million contacts about potential toxic exposures, 1.8 million (75%) were managed outside of health care facilities
  • Denver Health Nurse Line
    • Manages 40% of callers at home
    • 70% callers changed plans
    • 16% planned home care but 47% chose it after calling
other benefits
Other Benefits
  • Standardized, accurate information delivery
  • Call center infrastructure/technology
  • Adaptability
  • Integrated Web sites (www.cohelp.us)
  • Trained information providers
  • Defined referral procedures
  • Structured data collection and reporting
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Public health events will continue to occur and will require a response
  • Need structured, coordinated systems to respond to these events that are:
    • Cost-effective
    • Efficient
    • Accurate
    • Consistent
    • Adaptable
more lessons learned
More Lessons Learned
  • Call volume driven by event specifics and media attention
  • Easy to adapt messages to meet evolving public health and public needs
  • Surveillance
    • Ongoing surveillance signals
      • call volumes, topics requested, collected data
    • Sentinel event system
      • can identify new health concerns
for more information
For More Information
  • “Health Emergency Assistance Line and Triage Hub (HEALTH) Model” report on AHRQ Web site by end of year
    • www.ahrq.gov
  • HEALTH Contact Center Assessment Tool on HSRNET or AHRQ Web sites
    • www.hsrnet.net/ahrq/surgecapacity/event3/resource.htm (available now)
    • www.ahrq.gov (available by end of year)
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