Effective communication requires speed, accuracy and the precise ability to target an audience. It´s these very attributes that make both the national Health Alert Network (HAN) and the New Jersey Local Information Network Communication System (NJLINCS) vital tools for sharing information. Through these combined systems, critical public health information can be quickly generated to physicians, hospital staff, first responders, schools, veterinarians and other community professionals and agencies. Messages are transmitted by email, automated voice notifications and blast fax. When it comes to public health, it is important that the message get through, the alert be sounded, the watch be activated.
A prime example: On April 24, 2009, the county health department was notified through the joint systems that a new flu strain had emerged. The health staff immediately went to work to strategically share this breaking news; shortly thereafter the following LINCS message began appearing at the Hunterdon Medical Center and in physician offices throughout the county. This LINCS message was just the first in an ongoing series from the health department that would provide guidelines and details about the emerging 2009 H1N1 (swine) influenza pandemic.
Agencies and individuals can sign up for HAN/LINCS messages by contacting the Health Department at 908-788-1351 or email@example.com.
NJLINCS Messages are posted at http://njlincs.net/.
CDC HAN messages are posted at http://www2a.cdc.gov/HAN/ArchiveSys/.