The National Audit Office’s recent report on emergency planning found that, while there had been an improvement in the planning for major incidents, there was still more to do especially for the newer post-September 11 threats.

The links below offer information resources on IT designed to aid planning for the new kind of emergencies we face and general information to support emergency planning.

Members of the E-Health Media community have already suggested many of the resources listed. If you have any further links that could prove useful to colleagues, please let us know. Contact

Technology to Aid Emergency Planning

The Realtime Outbreak and Disease Surveillance Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh states its mission as “to investigate methods for the real-time detection and assessment of outbreaks of disease using information technology.” Its projects work on using data from healthcare systems to detect outbreaks of disease, including diseases that may have been introduced maliciously.

Boston Globe report on ten hospital emergency rooms that are close to establishing an early warning network designed to detect disease outbreaks and bioterrorist attacks.

British health IT firm ComMedica has added a new module to its PIRILIS clinical information system that uses advanced algorithms to analyse data in order to predict the threat of epidemics including those caused by bioterrorism. See E-Health Media’s report.

Education and Training

The University fo Hertfordshire’s Civil Emergecy Management Centre offers programmes in emergency planning and disaster management.

The American Military University Weapons of Mass Destruction Certificate Program gives an idea of the kind of training available in the US for emergency staff charged with responding to an attack.

General Web Resources

As ever, the National electronic Library for Health provides a good focus for a search. Its emergency care branch library has an excellent resource for dealing with deliberate releases of biological, chemical and radiation agents.

Clinnix, a health information provider for consumers and professionals, has announced that modules covering the new type of emergency will be added free of charge to forthcoming releases of its Health Manager and HealthPro services.

NMAP, the information resource for nurses, midwives and allied professions, has a wealth of information on its site at . Key in search terms such as “bioterrorism”, “biological warfare" to get started.