New RadResponder Module Monitors Critical Population Data

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) has made strides to prevent and/or reduce radiation exposure in recent decades. The primary goal of the CRCPD is to assure that radiation exposure to individuals is kept to the lowest practical level, while not restricting its beneficial uses. The HS/ER-11 CRCPD task force, was charged with working with the developers of RadResponder to create a module for community reception center (CRC) population monitoring data that meets the needs of state and local radiation control programs, state and local health departments, and CDC. Prior to task force formation, NACCHO worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chainbirdge Technologies to develop a framework for input, display, visualization, and usage of population monitoring data in RadResponder.

The task force began their work on this project in April 2017 with conference calls to discuss and refine the overall objectives of the module. After the bulk of the requirements were defined and tentative dates were established for testing, Chainbridge Technologies hosted a webinar to demonstrate the features of the new module to the task force members in preparation of the initial pilot testing. As part of the task force effort, NACCHO created a paper aggregate data collection form. This form contained the same data fields that were collected in the RadResponder Module, but would allow for those persons operating the CRC to collect data manually, throughout various shifts, and enter it all into RadResponder later. On Aug. 17, 2017, RadResponder and CRCPD conducted the pilot test. Nine organizations tested the population monitoring module. The nine organizations were:

  • CDC
  • New York State Department of Health,
  • Iowa Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program,
  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA),
  • Florida Department of Health,
  • Kansas Department of Health & Environment’s Radiation Control Program,
  • Texas Department of State Health Services,
  • Tennessee Division of Radiological Health,
  • and Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management.

Through the testing of the system, the goal for the participants was to understand how the features in the RadResponder module could be used during a response. The features being tested included the ability to add CRCs to an event map, enter CRC information (facility status, contamination screening criteria, etc.), and input aggregate data on the screened population (numbers with internal/external contamination, signs of ARS, sent/referred to hospitals, etc.). Pre-populated aggregate data forms, with varied levels of input categories were provided to ensure that the testers experienced all the features within the module. With correct and comprehensive use of the module, users will be able to utilize the data to assist with triaging for follow-up care, enhance their cross-jurisdictional situation awareness, provide more rapid access to resources, services, and interventions, and many other beneficial outputs.

Overall, the test group thought the module was fairly easy to use with little training, as long as the user had some general familiarity with RadResponder. Some suggestions and issues that arose were the need for a guide or CONOPS for using the new module; the measurements criteria selections for minimum contamination levels were confusing; and some of the information being requested may not be readily available during a CRC, such as bio-assay results, which would likely be at the hospital where those samples were taken.

Accessing RadResponder and Additional Resources

  • The RadResponder Population Monitoring Module was released in August 2017 and is now available at https://radresponder.net. Guidance on how to create CRCs and screened population records within RadResponder are available on the RadResponder website, in addition to various other virtual trainings on utilizing the RadResponder product.
  • RadResponder also offers webinars for new users on a regular basis. This webinar provides an introduction to using the RadResponder website. The next new user webinar will take place on March 6 at 11 a.m., ET. To register, please click here.
    To view a recording from a previous webinar that explains the use of the population monitoring features in RadResponder, click here.
  • To request technical assistance or if you need additional training contact support@radresponder.net.
  • If you have any questions about the CRCPD/RadResponder drill, please reach out to Ruth McBurney rmcburney@crcpd.org or Kay Foster Kay.Foster@illinois.gov.

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