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Filoromo C, Macrina D, Pryor E, Terndrup T, McNutt SD. An innovative approach to training hospital-based clinicians for bioterrorist attacks. American journal of infection control. 2003 Dec 1; 31(8):511-4.
The recent attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent dissemination event of anthrax in the United States demonstrated the necessity for hospitals to initiate bioterrorism education for clinicians. Events such as the release of sarin gas into the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo cult provided some insight into how quickly emergency medical personnel may be overwhelmed by causalities of unconventional weapons. Educational interventions to prepare hospital-based practitioners for such disasters must fit among the demands of patient care, administrative duties, and continuing education within specialties. In addition, the priority placed on the topic, confusion about reputable resources to consult, and concerns of funding for preparedness training mandate the need for an authoritative, comprehensive, and easily accessible approach. A pilot project supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was developed to facilitate streamlining of preparedness efforts through the implementation of interactive screen savers as an alternative to traditional educational modalities. This report presents the successful application of this model, which was quantified with pretests and posttests given to users of the system.