New web technology tool to help coordinate medical information during a disaster
| 07.06.2006 | 06:59:21 | Views: 3544 | ID:
July 6 '06: A new internet-based tool designed to help triage emergency management and medical response during an emergency was unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday. The tool was created to access and use public health information about victims of a disaster, elderly and disabled people, and it will work within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 19996 (HIPPA) Privacy Rule to help coordinate information so that federal, state and local medical responders can make decisions quickly, HHS officials said in a press release.
HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt said, "Being able to coordinate health information appropriately and in advance will help save lives. ... This new tool strengthens America's ability to better prepare for emergencies such as manmade and natural disasters."Winston Wilkinson, the director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights said he was pleased "that we are providing state and local planners with such a timely, comprehensive and effective tool to enable them to get answers to HIPPA Privacy Rule questions tailored to their specific needs." The web-based technology will help in triage and assessment of a disaster situation because it "presents avenues of information flow that could apply to emergency preparedness activities," while making sure that sensitive information about a victim reaches the right people to handle the information at the right time, the HHS site read. How it works: the tool will guide "emergency preparedness and recovery planners through a series of questions regarding how the HIPPA Privacy Rule applies to a particular disclosure" of information. "By helping users focus on the source of the information being disclosed, to whom it is being disclosed, and for what purpose, users will better meet the needs of the elderly or persons will disabilities in the event of an evacuation."
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