How Health Systems Prevent Epidemics

Infectious diseases pose a huge risk to the general public. Through public health systems and the coordination with medical providers of all types, a centralized system can be created to help keep the public safe from such diseases. It’s important for a population to have a health system in place that encourages information sharing and documenting that will allow public health officials to stay on top of what is happening with its people’s health.

Monitoring
As you can see in this infographic from UC, having an integrated system makes for more informed decisions and allows different providers to work together.  It enables public health officials to monitor information that will keep them abreast of issues and general details they need to know to prevent an outbreak of infectious diseases.
For example, a health system that keeps records of immunizations is able to show who is getting immunized and who is not. Public health officials can then make moves to help increase immunizations within communities that are not getting them, which leads to better protection against diseases and a lowered risk of an outbreak.

Managing
Health systems also help with better management of diseases. Disease outbreaks can be devastating, so they have to be kept on top of, like these recent ones discussed by USC. If an outbreak occurs, public health officials can get information from providers to help them see how things are being managed. They are then able to step in if needed to help combat the disease, get people treated properly, and wipe it out completely.
Programs can be created and plans laid so disease outbreaks can be better handled in the future. In addition, officials are able to manage what is happening between providers to help everyone get on the same page and offer the best course of treatment for whatever disease they are facing. It allows for better overall care for patients.

Alerting
When a health system is working properly, public health officials are able to issue alerts when an outbreak occurs or in situations that could lead to an outbreak. For example, if a certain community is showing that its people are not getting vaccinated against a disease, an alert can be issued that all providers will see. Then providers can work to get people immunized.
Alerts can help to prevent disease outbreaks and they enable providers to have a heads up that an outbreak has occurred so they are better prepared to treat patients. If someone comes in with symptoms of a disease but the provider doesn’t know there is a current outbreak of the disease, there is a potential for a misdiagnosis, which could lead to more trouble for the patient and possible spread of the disease, causing an even larger problem.
Health systems can be very effective in preventing the spread of diseases that can lead to an epidemic. When an outbreak isn’t handled properly, it can lead to lives lost. By having a solid health system, public health officials are able to stay on top of what is happening out in communities, providers can be kept better informed and patients are kept safer.

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