The Logistics of Response

May 7, 2009
Fear of the Bird Flu or a bioterror attack has turned into the fact of the H1N1 flu pandemic. Response mechanisms are already in place.

In 2006, we wrote about setting up an ad hoc field operation in response to an outbreak of bird flu or a bioterror attack. The scene: lives are at stake, the goods coming in are controlled pharmaceuticals and there isn't a single trained warehouse worker or inventory control manager in sight. (see Setting Up a Warehouse on the Fly). Just three years later, the supplier described in that case study, Upp Technology Inc., was reporting that 24 hours after the Center for Disease Control's H1N1 virus "Swine Flu" Alert it activated and deployed six regional Emergency Support Teams to help states prepare for the receipt and distribution of the CDC's bulk movement of the flu-fighting drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, drugs officials said have been shown to be quite effective, especially if taken early in the course of the disease.

The “what-if” of 2006 turned into a reality in 2009 as the response mounted to the current outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus. The IRMS GOKITs described in that case study of the Ohio Department of Health's readiness efforts, allow first responders to have complete control over the receipt, staging, and mobilization of emergency pharmaceuticals, supplies, and equipment, says UPP Technology, supplier of the mobile logistics solution. The solution includes pre-configured CBRNE models (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives), vendor managed inventory, fatality management, GPS tracking, and patient tracking and triage. The IRMS Emergency Management System also manages the distribution of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) push packs through PODs where individualized distribution of vaccines to patients are recorded and transmitted back to a state's Public Health information network, as well as enabling automated CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) Doses Administered Reporting.

Upp Technology's site provides sources for updates on the current status of the H1N1 virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and other sources at its site.

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