A Shift From Logistic Software to Service Model: A Case Study of New Service-Driven-Software for Management of Emergency Supplies During Disasters and Emergency Conditions by WHO.
ABSTRACT: World Health Organization (WHO) states access to medicine as a priority area for universal health coverage, wherein a well-functioning medicine supply chain is indispensable. Optimization of supply chains to cut losses related to overstocking, expiration, and inefficiencies protect the investments and strengthen health systems to better deliver the health services. This article shares the experience of developing a service-driven-software for pharmaceutical supplies during emergency conditions and disasters, and the advantages gained. In 2005, Logistic Support System (LSS), the updated version of SUMA (Supply Management), was introduced by WHO during the earthquake in Pakistan which had offered valuable but limited services to many countries. Moving from ad hoc to a more organized approach, the medical donations and stockpiles of essential medicinal supplies were inventoried on LSS database for managing the dispatch of medical supplies to the disaster-hit area in a shortest possible time. Post disaster rescue and rehabilitation work further instigated the need for development of a new software, Pharmaceutical Information Management System (PIMS), that was effective in the emergency as well as routine inventory operations. It was used for efficient and improved access of medicines and faster decision making. The new systems proved vital to anticipate over/under stocking through proactive alerts and prompting. The updated information on epidemiological and drug utilization needs were crucial for the effective quantification and ordering throughout the supply chain. Implementation of PIMS demanded appreciable customization including conversion of system from stand-alone to online system with consolidation of information on stocks from all locations. Provision of multi-user option allowed facilitation according to the user authorization, and was equipped with improved-speed, efficiency, and security. PIMS was successfully replicated by the pioneer team of pharmacist from Pakistan in other countries.
Project description:During disasters, supply chain vulnerabilities, such as power, transportation, and communication, may affect the delivery of medications and medical supplies and hamper the ability to deliver critical care services. Disasters also have the potential to disrupt information technology (IT) in health-care systems, resulting in interruptions in patient care, particularly critical care, and other health-care business functions. The suggestions in this article are important for all of those involved in a large-scale pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.The Business and Continuity of Operations Panel followed the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Guidelines Oversight Committee's methodology in developing key questions regarding medication and supply shortages and the impact disasters may have on healthcare IT. Task force members met in person to develop the 13 key questions believed to be most relevant for Business and Continuity of Operations. A systematic literature review was then performed for relevant articles and documents, reports, and gray literature reported since 2007. No studies of sufficient quality were identified upon which to make evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.Eighteen suggestions addressing mitigation strategies for supply chain vulnerabilities including medications and IT were generated. Suggestions offered to hospitals and health system leadership regarding medication and supply shortages include: (1) purchase key medications and supplies from more than one supplier, (2) substituted medications or supplies should ideally be similar to those already used by an institution's providers, (3) inventories should be tracked electronically to monitor medication/supply levels, (4) consider higher inventories of medications and supplies known or projected to be in short supply, (5) institute alternate use protocols when a (potential) shortage is identified, and 6) support government and nongovernmental organizations in efforts to address supply chain vulnerability. Health-care IT can be damaged in a disaster, and hospitals and health system leadership should have plans for urgently reestablishing local area networks. Planning should include using portable technology, plans for providing power, maintenance of a patient database that can accompany each patient, and protection of patient privacy. Additionally, long-term planning should include prioritizing servers and memory disk drives and possibly increasing inventory of critical IT supplies in preparedness planning.The provision of care to the critically ill or injured during a pandemic or disaster is dependent on key processes, such as the supply chain, and infrastructure, such as IT systems. Hospitals and health systems will help minimize the impact of medication and supply shortages with a focused strategy using the steps suggested. IT preparedness for maintaining local area networks, functioning clinical information systems, and adequate server and memory storage capacity will greatly enhance preparedness for hospital and health system clinical and business operations.
Project description:The greater Wellington region, New Zealand, is highly vulnerable to large earthquakes because it is cut by active faults. Bulk water supply pipelines cross the Wellington Fault at several different locations, and there is considerable concern about severe disruption of the provision of reticulated water supplies to households and businesses in the aftermath of a large earthquake. A number of policy initiatives have been launched encouraging householders to install rainwater tanks to increase post-disaster resilience. However, little attention has been paid to potential health hazards associated with consumption of these supplies. To assess health hazards for householders in emergency situations, six 200-litre emergency water tanks were installed at properties across the Wellington region, with five tanks being allowed to fill with roof-collected rainwater and one tank being filled with municipal tapwater as a control. Such tanks are predominantly set aside for water storage and, once filled, feature limited drawdown and recharge. Sampling from these tanks was carried out fortnightly for one year, and samples were analysed for E. coli, pH, conductivity, a range of major and trace elements, and organic compounds, enabling an assessment of the evolution of water chemistry in water storage tanks over time. Key findings were that the overall rate of E. coli detections in the rain-fed tanks was 17.7%, which is low in relation to other studies. We propose that low incidences of may be due to biocidal effects of high zinc concentrations in tanks, originating from unpainted galvanised steel roof cladding. Lead concentrations were high compared to other studies, with 69% of rain-fed tank samples exceeding the World Health Organisation's health-based guideline of 0.01 mg/L. Further work is required to determine risks of short-term consumption of this water in emergency situations.
Project description:This study assessed adults' perceptions toward preparedness to better inform emergency planning efforts for households and communities. The 2016 Styles, an Internet panel survey, was used to assess emergency preparedness competencies. Descriptive analyses were performed to describe the sociodemographic factors by preparedness status. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to examine the association between perceived preparedness and characteristics associated with preparedness attitudes, motivators, and barriers. Approximately 40% of adults surveyed reported that they were prepared for emergencies. The main motivator for those prepared was awareness of local disasters (38.9%), and a leading barrier was confusion about how to plan for the unknown (23.7%). Those prepared were more likely to have the right supplies (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.05, 1.50]), discuss emergency plans (AOR = 1.21, 95% CI = [1.02-1.42]), and act before an emergency occurred (AOR = 1.35, 95% CI = [1.15, 1.59]), compared with adults who did not report being prepared. Results from this research indicate that identifying motivation to prepare for emergencies can contribute to public health disaster planning. Preparation is a critical step that allows the community and its citizens to be more equipped to function during and after a disaster.
Project description:Access to continuous water supply is key for improving health and economic outcomes in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries, but the factors associated with continuous water access in these areas have not been well-characterized. We surveyed 4786 households for evidence of technical, financial, institutional, social, and environmental predictors of rural water service continuity (WSC), defined as the percentage of the year that water is available from a source. Multiple imputed fractional logistic regression models that account for the survey design were used to assess operational risks to WSC for piped supply, tube wells, boreholes, springs, dug wells, and surface water for the rural populations of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Multivariable regressions indicate that households using multiple water sources were associated with lower WSC in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mozambique. However, the possibility must be considered that households may use more than one water source because services are intermittent. Water scarcity and drought were largely unassociated with WSC, suggesting that service interruptions may not be primarily due to physical water resource constraints. Consistent findings across countries may have broader relevance for meeting established targets for service availability as well as human health.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The exposure of people and infrastructure to flood and storm related disasters across the world is increasing faster than vulnerability is decreasing. For people with non-communicable diseases this presents a significant risk as traditionally the focus of disaster management systems has been on immediate trauma and communicable diseases. This focus must now be expanded to include the management of non-communicable diseases because these conditions are generating the bulk of ill health, disability and premature death around the globe. When public health service infrastructure is destroyed or damaged access to treatment and care is severely jeopardised, resulting in an increased risk of non-communicable disease exacerbation or even death. This research proposes disaster responders, coordinators and government officials are vital assets to mitigate and eventually prevent these problems from being exacerbated during a disaster. This is due to their role in supporting the public health service infrastructure required to maximise treatment and care for people with non-communicable diseases. By focusing on the disaster cycle as a template, and on mitigation and prevention phases in particular, these actions and activities performed by disaster service responders will lead to overall improved preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation phases. METHODS:Data were collected via 32 interviews and one focus group (eight participants) between March 2014 and August 2015 (total of 40 participants). The research was conducted in the State of Queensland, Australia, with disaster service providers. The analysis included the phases of: organizing data; data description; data classification; and interpretation. RESULTS:The research found a relationship between the impact of a disaster on public health service infrastructure, and increased health risks for people with non-communicable diseases. Mitigation strategies were described for all phases of the disaster cycle impacting public health service infrastructure. Specific measures include: increasing the use of telemedicine; preplanning with medical suppliers; effective town planning; health professionals visiting evacuation centers; evacuation centers having power for medical equipment; hubs for treatment and care after a disaster; evacuation of high risk people prior to disaster; mapping people at risk by non-communicable disease; and a mechanism for sharing information between agencies. A common theme from the participants was that having accurate and easily accessible data on people with non-communicable diseases would allow disaster service providers to adequately prepare for and respond to a disaster. CONCLUSIONS:Disaster service providers can play a vital role in reducing the risk of disaster exacerbated non-communicable diseases through public health service infrastructure resilience. They are often employed in communities where disasters occur and are therefore best-placed to lead implementation of the mitigation strategies identified in this research. To sustainably implement the mitigation strategies they will need to become integrated into effective performance and monitoring of the disaster response and health sector during non-disaster periods. For this to occur, the strategies should be integrated into business and strategic plans. Achieving this will help implement the Sendia Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and, most importantly, help protect the health of people with non-communicable diseases before, during and after a disaster.
Project description:Setting: Ten hospitals managing drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan. Objective: To assess the implementation of TB infection control (IC) practices and reasons for non-adherence to guidelines. Design: This was a descriptive study conducted between April and October 2016 with three components: 1) non-participant observation of service delivery areas (SDAs) (n = 82) in hospitals (n = 10) using structured checklists; 2) exit interviews with 100 patients (10 per hospital); and 3) interviews with 100 health-care workers (HCWs, 10/hospital). Results: Of the 82 SDAs, posters were displayed in 34 (41%), mechanical ventilation was implemented in 79% and functional ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) was available in only 26%. Patient interviews showed 50-65% adherence to triage and use of personal protective measures. Key reasons for non-adherence were lack of adequate supplies, discomfort using N-95 masks, a lack of knowledge or training, perceived non-cooperation by patients, poor maintenance of mechanical ventilators and UVGI due to unstable electricity supply, a lack of clarity in roles (no-one designated in charge) and staff shortages and subsequent workloads. Adherence to natural ventilation usage was poor for reasons related to climate and privacy. Conclusion: Implementation of TBIC measures in hospitals was suboptimal. Urgent measures need to be put in place, including retraining of HCWs, addressing weaknesses in mask and poster supplies and constant supervision and monitoring.
Project description:Declines in insect pollinators across Europe have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture. Simultaneously, EU agricultural and biofuel policies have encouraged substantial growth in the cultivated area of insect pollinated crops across the continent. Using data from 41 European countries, this study demonstrates that the recommended number of honeybees required to provide crop pollination across Europe has risen 4.9 times as fast as honeybee stocks between 2005 and 2010. Consequently, honeybee stocks were insufficient to supply >90% of demands in 22 countries studied. These findings raise concerns about the capacity of many countries to cope with major losses of wild pollinators and highlight numerous critical gaps in current understanding of pollination service supplies and demands, pointing to a pressing need for further research into this issue.
Project description:The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) works to organize and provide access to a wide range of environmental health and toxicology resources. In recent years, the demand for, and availability of, information on health issues related to natural and man-made emergencies and disasters has increased. Recognizing that access to information is essential in disaster preparedness, a new focus of NLM's 2006-2016 Long Range Plan calls for the establishment of a Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) that will aid in collecting, disseminating, and sharing information related to health and disasters. This paper introduces several of TEHIP's resources for emergency/disaster preparedness and response, such as the Radiation Event Medical Management Web site (REMM) <http://remm.nlm.gov/> and the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) <http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov>. Several of NLM's other disaster preparedness and response resources will also be reviewed.
Project description:Outbreaks of infectious diseases during peacetime or in disaster/war-related conditions, may most often need an effective crisis management in the hospital. The emergency preparedness in hospitals may vary within, and between countries, dependent on endemic and epidemic conditions, capacity, knowledge and economy. Lack of preparedness may result in a high risk of disease burden and death and cause a high economic impact on the health care.
Project description:The primary objective of this study was to examine the impacts associated with implementation of overdose preventions sites (OPSs) in Victoria, Canada during a declared provincial public health overdose emergency. A rapid case study design was employed with three OPSs constituting the cases. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 15 staff, including experiential staff, and 12 service users. Theoretically, we were informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. This framework, combined with a case study design, is well suited for generating insight into the impacts of an intervention. Zero deaths were identified as a key impact and indicator of success. The implementation of OPSs increased opportunities for early intervention in the event of an overdose, reducing trauma for staff and service users, and facilitated organizational transitions from provision of safer supplies to safer spaces. Providing a safer space meant drug use no longer needed to be concealed, with the effect of mitigating drug related stigma and facilitating a shift from shame and blame to increasing trust and development of relationships with increased opportunities to provide connections to other services. These impacts were achieved with few new resources highlighting the commitment of agencies and harm reduction workers, particularly those with lived experience, in achieving beneficial impacts. Although mitigating harms of overdose, OPSs do not address the root problem of an unsafe drug supply. OPSs are important life-saving interventions, but more is needed to address the current contamination of the illicit drug supply including provision of a safer supply.