A 911 system is actually a set of components that work together to provide communications and data storage functions. The component with the most immediate potential for biosurveillance is the CAD database, which collects, in real time, in addition to the information listed above (the problem, previous call history from the location), information from emergency responders at the location. This information includes clinical information regarding patients and sick animals, contaminants and human/animal exposure to them. Although this information overlaps with information that will be collected in emergency facilities, should the patient be transported, some 911 callers may refuse transport, not require transport, decline to follow advice to seek medical care, or in large-scale outbreak situations, may be referred or routed to locations that do not have clinical information systems that are part of biosurveillance networks.
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