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emergency medical readiness, health information technology, medical disaster response



  1. Harrison, Jeffrey P. PhD, MBA, MHA, FACHE
  2. Harrison, Richard A. BS
  3. Smith, Megan BHA


This article addresses the importance of information technology (IT) in support of disaster medical response and provides a framework for the use of IT in response to natural disasters or terrorist activities. The appropriate use of IT enhances the effectiveness of the disaster response system, thereby safeguarding the population and the community infrastructure. This study found that most US hospitals have wireless local area networks (LANs) with disaster medical response capabilities. The data indicate that combined with the wireless LAN, many hospitals have acquired personal digital assistants, tablets, and handheld personal computers, which are important disaster medical response resources. This research shows that the wireless LAN networks and remote input devices are in place to ensure a timely medical response to disasters within many US communities.