Hurricane Katrina

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Academic Biomedical Research Community Should Take Action to Build Resilience to Disasters

Press Release | The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine | August 10, 2017

The academic biomedical research community should improve its ability to mitigate and recover from the impacts of disasters, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The consequences of recent disasters, from hurricanes to cyberattacks, have shown that the investments of the U.S. federal government and other research sponsors -- which total about $27 billion annually -- are not uniformly secure. The report recommends 10 steps that academic research institutions, researchers, and research sponsors should take to bolster the resilience of academic biomedical research.

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California Could Be Hit by an 8.2 Mega-Earthquake, and It Would Be Catastrophic

Rong-Gong Lin II | Los Angeles Times | September 19, 2017

The magnitude 8.2 earthquake that ravaged southern Mexico on Sept. 7 was the largest to shake the country in nearly a century. Like California, Mexico is a seismically active region that has seen smaller quakes that have caused death and destruction. But the Sept. 7 temblor is a reminder that even larger quakes — while rare — do occur. Scientists say it’s possible for Southern California to be hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. Such a quake would be far more destructive to the Los Angeles area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas...

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Creating EHRs that Doctors Don't Hate

It may be difficult to recall now, what with the ongoing Cerner deployment and recent challenges that had little to do with technology, but there was a time when the Department of Veterans Affairs was considered the gold standard for healthcare IT. VA was out front with the initial development in the 1970s of the VistA system, which would come to be widely recognized and frequently honored. Indeed, when VA was overhauled in the 1990s, VistA was the primary tool that enabled the success of new policies. Without question, much of the effectiveness and durability of VA's VistA can be attributed to the way it was developed, specifically to the collaboration between technologists and clinicians that defined the process.

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Crisis Communication: Saving Time and Lives in Disasters through Smarter Social Media

As the worst bushfires seen for generations in New South Wales raged across the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and the Central Coast two years ago, people urgently needed fast, reliable information – and many turned to their phones to get it. The NSW Rural Fire Service was prepared with a smartphone app, Fires Near Me, which was downloaded almost 200,000 times. At the height of the fires, its Facebook page was recording more than a million views an hour. A social media campaign also helped the NSW Rural Fire Service Facebook community more than double from 120,000 to 280,000, while its Twitter reach jumped from 20,000 to 37,000 followers. Crucially, this helped to alert people to danger areas and places to avoid driving near...

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DeSalvo Delivers First Remarks To Health IT Policy Committee

Kyle Murphy | EHR Intelligence | January 14, 2014

[...] During the first meeting of the HIT Policy Committee and her second day of office, [Karen] DeSalvo delivered her first remarks which consisted mostly of an overview of her background with a particular focus on her most recent experiences as the City Health Commissioner of New Orleans. Read More »

Feds' Rampant Use of No-Bid Contracts the Essence of Corruption

David Williams | The Hill | August 1, 2017

Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) David Shulkin just awarded a contract worth billions of dollars to Cerner, a health technology company. Secretary Shulkin, who was seeking a firm to build the VA's new electronic health records system, awarded the contract without even considering proposals from other companies...

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FirstNet for Emergency Communications: 6 Questions Answered

The system nicknamed FirstNet was created by Congress in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Under the contract with the government, the group led by AT&T will build, operate and maintain a new nationwide communications network, providing high-speed wireless communications for public safety agencies and personnel. The network will be protected against unauthorized intrusion and strong enough to withstand disasters that might damage other communications systems. Emergency workers will be able to preempt other users’ traffic on the network, and will be able to send and receive as much data as they need to during their emergency work...

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Flesh-eating Bacteria, Cancer-causing Chemicals, and Mold: Harvey and Irma's Lingering Health Threats

Julia Belluz | Vox | September 28, 2017

In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, parts of Florida have been awash in millions of gallons of sewage. Meanwhile, in Texas, oil refineries and chemical plants have dumped a year’s worth of cancer-causing pollutants into the air following Hurricane Harvey. In both states, doctors are on the lookout for an uptick in respiratory problems, skin infections, and mosquito-borne diseases brought on by the water and mold the storms left behind...

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HHS Offers Hurricane Guidance to Healthcare Facilities

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | September 13, 2017

With Florida still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services has issued draft guidance to help healthcare facilities with disaster planning and recovery for major hurricanes. Based on lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and others, the document—from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response—provides an overview of the “potential significant public health and medical response and recovery needs facing hurricane- and severe storm-affected areas.” Among the topics in the draft are those covering health information management...

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HIE Critical To Care Continuity In Natural Disasters

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | November 2, 2012

As some hospitals in the New York metropolitan area were forced to evacuate patients and send them to nearby facilities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, health information exchange proved to be a vital tool in making those transitions as smooth as possible. Read More »

HIE Is Critical Public Utility In Sandy Disaster

Mike Miliard | Government Health IT | October 31, 2012

The Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) sees itself as a "public utility" as much as an HIE. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as patients bounce between hospitals (and as other public utilities, such as electricity and transportation, are compromised), it has enabled critical continuity of care. Read More »

HIEs: Help in Disasters?

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee | Healthcare Info Security | November 2, 2012

How big of a role did health information exchanges play in providing access to records during Superstorm Sandy, and what lessons can be learned? Federal officials will address these questions, says HIE expert Lee Stevens. Read More »

How A Low-Income San Francisco Neighborhood Is Building A Culture Of Disaster Preparedness

Justin Gerdes | The Atlantic Cities | May 7, 2014

...During the last big quake to rattle the San Francisco Bay area in 1989, Hodge was the manager of a local Kmart store across the bay in the town of Fremont. He made sure that his store was one of the first in the area to re-open after the quake, distributing much-needed supplies to the community...

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How Can Hospitals Possibly Prepare for Disasters? With Practice and Planning

The tragic shooting in Orlando brought dozens of victims to emergency rooms. Now, several of those people have been admitted and are clinging to life. Many across the nation are praying for them and other victims. Without quick response and high-quality emergency medical care, many more than the 49 already reported may have died. Emergency room physicians described a scene of horror as wounded patients flooded the nearest hospitals and gurneys lined up in hallways. How do emergency departments deal with such an unpredictable and horrific occurrence?

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How Disaster Relief Efforts Could Be Improved with Game Theory

The number of disasters has doubled globally since the 1980s, with the damage and losses estimated at an average US$100 billion a year since the new millennium, and the number of people affected also growing. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the costliest natural disaster in the U.S., with estimates between $100 billion and $125 billion. The death toll of Katrina is still being debated, but we know that at least 2,000 were killed, and thousands were left homeless. Worldwide, the toll is staggering. The triple disaster of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that started March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan killed thousands, as did the 2010 Haiti earthquake...

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