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Mass notification systems for disease outbreaks

Internal communication for hospitals:

It is critical for health care organizations to be prepared to communicate with staff when an outbreak occurs. Health care organizations can ensure effective communication in the event of a disease outbreak using the SmartNotice system.

The SmartNotice mass notification system gives health care administrators the ability to quickly send text, email, voice, RSS, and desktop notifications to select groups of staff within seconds. For example, the system can be used to remind staff to get vaccinated or reduce staff movement in infected areas. Hospitals should remember to practice internal crisis communication plans.

External communication for residents:

Using the CodeRED mass notification system to deliver information about disease outbreaks will greatly minimize the infectious disease threat. Increasing the level of awareness among residents can reduce panic and help prevent transmission.

Examples of infectious disease emergencies:

Naturally Occurring Outbreaks

Measles is an example of a naturally occurring outbreak that has been around for hundreds of years. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 162 people from 19 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles from January 1 to April 17, 2015. Public safety officials can use the CodeRED mass notification system to let residents know it is important for them to contact their doctor and make sure they have received a vaccination. Encourage anyone who has not been immunized to get vaccinated immediately. Remember to remind residents where vaccination is available.

Emerging Infectious Diseases

There has not been a case of SARS since 2004; however, the disease is still considered a severe threat to public health and safety according to the CDC. In the event of a SARS or similar infectious disease outbreak, provide tips to help individuals protect themselves from catching the virus, such as washing hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces and washing personal items.

Food Borne Illness

When a foodborne disease outbreak is reported, the CodeRED mass notification system can be used to send a message to residents. Let them know when the recall of a food product is in place. For example, Blue Bell recently pulled all of its products off the shelves because they could be contaminated with Listeria.