Mass casualty software is not built in one day. Many thing must be taken into account: experts must be consulted, testing must be done, priorities must be set, …
When we started our software development process, we found 8 crucial building blocks to consider. Things that were absolutely necessary to build a software that can be used in many mass casualty events and meets the needs of our future users.
The medical chain covers the triage and logistic flow. Emergency workers register a victim on the spot and fill in key information needed like triage code, gender and estimate age. This information is used to provide the best response as quickly as possible, whether this is direct medical assistance or regulation to a hospital. Hospitals will receive information on incoming patients before they arrive, leading to a more effective preparation and faster provision of care.
For everyone – victims injured or not and relatives – support during an incident and follow-up afterwards are critical. Information of victims and their relatives will be registered, so that aftercare (if needed) is possible.
During an incident, Reception Centres will be set up and organised. They will handle the practical needs and focus on 2 main elements:
With an Emergency Telephone Number in place,the challenge is to manage the large amount of data that comes in via different channels and sources. The Contact Centre module is built on a database consisting of victim, relative, missing files and additional information on relationships, urgency and contact moments.
When relatives call the call centre aid workers can browse the database to match the search requests, find registered persons and re-connect with as many people as possible. There is a separate module for authorized persons to identify which relatives to call back with information on their search request.
After an incident, the databases with personal information can be consulted to provide the right follow-up.
The management team operating outside the Command Post needs to have real-time information in order to take crucial decisions and to allocate care workers and resources at the different locations. They will be provided with a dashboard, a status report and a list to get an overview of the situation.
It is important that everyone in the medical and psychological chain has access to the information needed. During a mass casualty event decision time is limited so real time data exchange is crucial to facilitate the work of supporting services and save more lives.
A platform with the aim to communicate and interact between citizens and the authorities offers lots of advantages. It will structure and centralise the information, centralise the communication, and provide the right support at the right moment.
The website would be the communication of the authorities towards the citizens based on general information about the incident and the support provided by the emergency services in the specific case, including relevant telephone numbers of reception centre and call centre.
Victims will also be able to register themselves as victim, to complete their information as an addition to collected information in the medical or psychosocial chain (in case they have been registered somewhere in system at another point) and to add a search request for a missing person.
Correct auditing and logging actions are important to support the legal processes and for evaluation purposes to detect mis-usage of data.
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