ATrain Education

 

Continuing Education for Health Professionals

NV: Bioterrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Module 6

Health Alert Network (HAN)

The Health Alert Network (HAN) is a nationwide communications system established by the CDC and implemented by each state. The Nevada HAN provides a 24/7 means of two-way communication for all critical health information among the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and local and rural healthcare professionals. These professionals include physicians, nurses, hospitals, laboratories, clinicians, public health workers, emergency management, and others (SNHD, 2017).

The Nevada Health Alert Network (NVHAN) is administered by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH), Public Health Preparedness Program (PHP). NVHAN is a statewide, bed tracking, availability and alerting system in place throughout the state.

Its digital, high-speed notification system is used to rapidly contact hospitals and healthcare facilities; or thousands of staff with extreme speed and accuracy.

NVHAN is composed of three systems:

  • HAvBED (Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters);
  • NXT Communicator (allows rapid contact of large groups of key individuals); and the
  • Wireless Priority Service (WPS) and Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) (provide additional communication capabilities in an emergency when wireless or public systems are congested).

Healthcare professionals interested in signing up for NVHAN should visit the Nevada Health Alert Network (NVHAN) website and follow the link to sign up, or for more information contact the administrator at 775 684 3242 (DPBH, 2015).

Healthcare professionals in southern Nevada can also get information from the Southern Nevada Health District HAN Coordinator at 702 759 1299 or sign up at the district’s website (SNHD, 2017).

Alert Message Types

CDC HAN messages range from informational updates of general interest to alerts that require immediate action. Examples of the different types of alerts listed below, as well as archives of past alerts, may be found on the CDC Health Alert Network website.

Health Alert: provides vital, time-sensitive information for a specific incident or situation; warrants immediate action or attention by health officials, laboratorians, clinicians, and members of the public; and conveys the highest level of importance.

Health Advisory: provides important information for a specific incident or situation; contains recommendations or actionable items to be performed by public health officials, laboratorians, and/or clinicians; may not require immediate action.

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

Info Service: provides general public health information; unlikely to require immediate action. (CDC, 2017d)

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