An emergency or a disaster can happen at any time, and being prepared can save lives. Emergency preparedness is a vital part of the job for every medical professional, particularly first responders. Emergencies are overwhelming and stressful, as medical professionals would be engaging with people during their most difficult times, emergency preparedness ensures professionals have the right skills and the right state of mind to effectively manage a disaster. Providing accurate, complete information and preparing for disasters can help prevent casualties, reduce extensive trauma, limit or prevent certain disasters, reduce fears, and improve recovery. In addition, it enables better coordination with other environment and public health agencies and provides information on what to expect during a disaster, enhancing their ability to respond better. The types of disasters that can occur may be region specific, resulting in each region offering different disaster training.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that creates, manages, analyzes, and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data (where things are) with descriptive information (what things are like there). GIS helps users understand patterns, relationships, and geographic context. The benefits include improved communication and efficiency as well as better management and decision-making. To provide necessary training and region-specific disaster relief, a platform that incorporates GIS-based disaster risk information is necessary. Preparing for emergencies is not a one-time event, it’s an ongoing effort that requires continually revisited training. Hence, a GIS-based platform that provides continuing education and training in disaster preparedness is needed.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico have proposed a digital platform that would provide both GIS disaster risk assessment information specific to the region of the hospital, and serve to aid in accreditation. The GIS mapping would provide current information on the local/vicinity hazards that may result in an emergency situation. The digital platform will be a comprehensive resource that will link the GIS identified hazards for each region to modules that will provide education consistent with the competencies and accreditation standards such as Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Essentials, The Joint Commission Standards, International Council of Nurses, Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. The modules will be designed to be implemented and inserted into existing course work and continuing education.
- Provide GIS disaster risk information
- Offers disaster preparedness education and training
- Feature to map out risk for area with matching module
- May be integrated into documenting compliance with accreditation standards
- Provides continuing education
- Universities, Higher Education
- Emergency Professionals – First Responders, Firefighters
- Disaster Relief
Name: Gregg Benninger