Health Alert Network (HAN)


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Description:

As part of the broader Public Health Information Network (PHIN), the Health Alert Network (HAN) is a project that is intended to ensure communities have quick access to emerging health emergencies/situations. Furthermore, the HAN Project also aims to better prepare it's involved communities for future outbreaks or other health emergency.

The Center for Disease Control, HAN's sponsor, is working along side the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and others to provide this service to the public. The HAN links local health facilities to one another and then connects those facilities to other critical entities such as community first-responders, laboratories, state health departments and the CDC itself, amongst others. When an outbreak occurs the HAN uses early warning systems such as a broadcast fax to alert each connected entity with information about the specific warning as well as the necessary preparation plans.


Application:

As an explanation of the HANs functionality, imagine the case of a drug resistant viral strain appearing in a traveler who has just returned from an overseas vacation. This case would first be logged in the traveler's locale and assuming he/she lives in a neighborhood under the HAN umbrella, news of this vital health outbreak would be passed along through the remaining levels of HANs hierarchy -- thus alerting and allowing other communities ample preparation time should this viral strain somehow make its way into their borders. The main technological backbone of the HAN is a nationwide broadband information sharing networked staffed with expert front-end information managers able to disseminate the appropriate information to the appropriate entity quickly.

Jurisdiction:

-All 50 States Networked
-3 Metropolitan Health Departments
-3 County Health Departments
-8 Territories
-The District of Columbia
-Health Organizations
-Major Hospital Networks

Alert Classification:

Health Alert: conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.

Health Advisory : provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.

Health Update: provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.

Infrastructure(HANs Place Within PHIN Network):
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PHIN Network


Web Resources / References
CDC | The Health Alert Network
HAN Facts
HAN Coverage
Archived Alerts
PHIN Homepage