Decontamination facility for children
| 05.26.2006 | 08:31:57 | Views: 2748 | ID:
May 26 '06: A $6.5 million decontamination facility is being built at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC to help children who would become victims of a biological, chemical or radiological attack, Global Security Newswire reported.
The facility is another measure being taken by the federal government to respond to what it sees as a necessary preparation in the fight against terrorism and its threats: Ned Zechman, the hospital president and chief executive officer said, "It's not something that is pleasant to think about, but 9/11 taught us we need to think about these kind of issues." GSN continued, "The facility is one component of a continuing, but still incomplete, nationwide effort to safeguard children against the effects of an unconventional weapon."Other federal preparations include a biosurveillance program for pandemic flu as well as a larger National Biosurveillance Integration System which will "track and combine data it will receive electronically from several agencies' public health, food, animal, air and water monitoring systems," Government Computer News reported. In addition to the creation of the national biosurveillance system, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has created a state "Multijurisdictional Approach to Biosurveillance" by organizing an "electronic reporting system for a network of 22 laboratories" using Kansas City, Missouri for its network trial. Information about biological incidents are fed into the system and then distributed based on relevancy of the incident. At the federal level, the Department of Health and Human Services website release said that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology "is responsible for coordinating federal activities relating to health information technology." Some of those activities include the use of federal funding "to design, develop, standardize, implement, maintain, operate, and/or enhance HIT (e.g. software, hardware or other technology) that is used inside or outside the federal government to deliver, monitor, improve, supply information to, interface with, or use information from a patient care encounter, including financial, clinical or other information." GSN reported, that hospitals around the country are now providing "their staffs with training and materials to treat young patients following an incident. Plans are being prepared at all levels of government, and pediatricians in private practice are educating themselves on the signs that a patient has been sickened by a deadly agent."
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