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Impact of faxed health alerts on the preparedness of general practitioners during communicable disease outbreaks

Rosewell, Alexander; Patel, Mahomed; Viney, Kerri; Marich, Andrew; Lawrence, Glenda

Description

The NSW Department of Health (NSW Health) faxed health alerts to general medical practitioners during measles outbreaks in March and May 2006. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of randomly selected general practitioners (GPs) (1 per medical practice) in New South Wales to investigate the effectiveness of faxing health alerts to GPs during a communicable disease outbreak. Fax transmission data allowed comparison of GPs sent and not sent the measles alert for self-reported awareness and...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorRosewell, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorPatel, Mahomed
dc.contributor.authorViney, Kerri
dc.contributor.authorMarich, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorLawrence, Glenda
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:42:15Z
dc.identifier.issn0725-3141
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/37007
dc.description.abstractThe NSW Department of Health (NSW Health) faxed health alerts to general medical practitioners during measles outbreaks in March and May 2006. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of randomly selected general practitioners (GPs) (1 per medical practice) in New South Wales to investigate the effectiveness of faxing health alerts to GPs during a communicable disease outbreak. Fax transmission data allowed comparison of GPs sent and not sent the measles alert for self-reported awareness and practice actions aimed at the prevention and control of measles. A total of 328 GPs participated in the study. GPs who were sent the alert were more likely to be aware of the measles outbreak (RR 1.18, 95% CI 1.02, 1.38). When analysed by whether a fax had been received from either NSW Health or the Australian General Practice Network, GPs who reported receiving a faxed measles alert were more likely to be aware of the outbreak (RR 2.56, 95% CI 1.84, 3.56), to offer vaccination to susceptible staff (RR 6.46, 95% CI 2.49, 16.78), and be aware of other infection control recommendations. Respondents reported that the faxed alerts were useful with 65% reporting that the alerts had reminded them to consider measles in the differential diagnosis. This study shows that faxed health alerts were useful for preparing GPs to respond effectively to a communicable disease outbreak. The fax alert system could be improved by ensuring that all general practices in New South Wales are included in the faxstream database and that their contact details are updated regularly.
dc.publisherNational Centre for Disease Control
dc.sourceCommunicable Diseases Intelligence
dc.subjectKeywords: adult; article; Australia; epidemic; fax; female; general practitioner; human; male; measles; middle aged; retrospective study; standard; Adult; Australia; Disease Outbreaks; Female; Humans; Male; Measles; Middle Aged; Physicians, Family; Retrospective St
dc.titleImpact of faxed health alerts on the preparedness of general practitioners during communicable disease outbreaks
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume34
dc.date.issued2010
local.identifier.absfor111706 - Epidemiology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4637548xPUB143
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationRosewell, Alexander, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationPatel, Mahomed, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationViney, Kerri, NSW Department of Health
local.contributor.affiliationMarich, Andrew, NSW Department of Health
local.contributor.affiliationLawrence, Glenda, University of Sydney
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage23
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage28
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:16:17Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77955495794
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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