Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination.
The resulting vaccination map would allow swift intervention in neighborhoods left vulnerable to the fast-moving respiratory illness.
The trial starts this afternoon, when several hundred people are expected to queue up for immunizations at the headquarters of the Boston Public Health Commission. Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine's recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers.
"Anything you can do to better pinpoint who's vaccinated and who's not, that's absolutely vital," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota. "I wish more cities were doing this kind of thing."
Boston is believed to be the first city to embrace this particular approach to tracking vaccinations against the seasonal flu, estimated to kill 36,000 people each year in the United States, principally the elderly.
But when Boston bought the monitoring system from a Milwaukee company in 2006, emergency authorities had a far different use in mind: tracking people injured in big fires, plane crashes, or other disasters.
Infectious disease specialists in Boston and elsewhere predicted that the registry approach could prove even more useful if something more sinister strikes: a bioterrorism attack or the long-feared arrival of a global flu epidemic. In such crises, the registry could be used to track who received a special vaccine or antidote to a deadly germ.
Many of you have been wondering about the validity of Greg Evensen's information about the RFID vaccination-bracelets.
Well, this pretty much confirms their existence.
It's only a matter of time before it will be mandatory because - HOW ELSE WOULD THIS TECHNOLOGY BE USEFUL TO THEM UNLESS EVERYONE HAD TO WEAR IT ?????
BOSTON - The Boston Public Health Commission has won a prestigious national award for its sophisticated disease tracking system that enables the agency to quickly recognize outbreaks of illness in Boston and rapidly respond to them.
"If we can make it work in the Boston Marathon medical tent, then you have to think about making it so that it can work in other environments as well - whether it's a community clinic or a doctor's office or a flu shot clinic," said Rich Serino, chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services. Thus, the idea to use the registry as a flu vaccine tracker was born.
MILWAUKEE, WI: (April 21, 2009) – An unprecedented number of EMSystems statewide clients successfully participated in a nation-wide HAvBED exercise. EMSystems’ clients who participated in this large-scale reporting exercise included Michigan, Idaho, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. In accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) / Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Grant Guidance, this exercise required Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disaster (HAvBED) reports to be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services / Secretary Operations Center (SOC) within a 4 hour time period.
Inventory and Resource Management System
& Credentialing System
EMS Patient Care Information System