American Public Health Association

Come meet the ReadyRN team and learn about the latest developments to the ReadyRN Clinical Decision Support Software (CDSS) at this year’s 137th annual American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in Philadelphia (November 7th – 11th, 2009).

Tener Veenema and Adam Rains will be presenting “Clinical Decision Support for Nurses: Restoring Public Health Following a Disaster” (session 5131.0: Toxic Water and Human Health) on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 [10:30 AM-12:00 PM] Howe, 33rd floor. Please visit the APHA web site for full details and meeting information.

Clinical Decision Support for Nurses:
Restoring Public Health Following a Disaster

Background & Issues: Nurses responding to the needs of populations affected by disasters require rapid assessment skills and knowledge of the basic tenets of environmental health, methods of health promotion, disease identification, and prevention strategies. All individuals affected by disasters must have their basic physiologic needs met in a timely manner for survival.

Description: Evidence-based software for disaster nursing decision making that establishes priorities and restores public health including minimum standards for water, food, sanitation, shelter, and vector control is presented. Recent historical examples of water contamination & its health consequences is proposed. A management matrix for outbreaks of food borne illness is described.

Lessons Learned from recent U.S. disasters:

  1. Populations affected by a disaster experience diminished environmental conditions that put them at risk for negative health outcomes.
  2. Basic physiologic needs must be met in a timely manner to ensure survival.
  3. The establishment, implementation and continuous monitoring of minimum standards for water safety, food safety, sanitation, shelter, and personal hygiene provides a firm foundation for health promotion.
  4. Infectious disease outbreaks usually occur in the post-impact and recovery phases of a disaster.
  5. Clinical decision support software can increase nurses knowledge of diseases endemic to the disaster area.
  6. The EPA and World Health Organization Guidelines for Food Safety should be used in response planning.
  7. Working as members of an interdisciplinary disaster response team, nurses must be able to detect environmental changes that can increase the potential for the spread of infectious disease.

Recommendations: Clinical decision support software can provide nurses with the knowledge and skill set needed to participate in restoring public health in a shelter or in a community following a disaster event.

In support of the conference theme “Water and Public Health”, several water quality and water-related features of the system will be demonstrated.

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