(Released 8 October 2015) Health care professionals now can easily find reliable guidance to help diagnose and treat patients who have been exposed to radiation.
The first major redesign of the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website since it launched in 2007 is available at http://www.remm.nlm.gov/. REMM gives health care personnel key information about the diagnosis and treatment of radiation injuries and access to interactive clinical tools and data. The site was developed by two agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Given the nature of radiation threats, medical personnel are often unfamiliar with radiation illness and when an incident occurs they need immediate, credible treatment guidance,” said John F. Koerner, chief of ASPR’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or High-Yield Explosive Branch. “The new, more easily navigable REMM site also will help health care providers and others find valuable information that can be used for training.”
“Access to current, reliable information is critical in disasters, especially radiation emergencies. The new design for REMM helps to ensure that all healthcare providers have quick and easy access to this information, even if the internet is unavailable,” said Dr. Steven J. Phillips, director of NLM’s Specialized Information Services Division.
The site provides just-in-time, evidence-based, usable information with sufficient background and context to make complex issues understandable to health care providers without formal training or expertise in radiation medicine. Guidance available on REMM was developed by subject matter experts from ASPR, NLM, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other U.S. and international radiation experts.
REMM was accessed more than 170,000 times in the first day following the Fukushima, Japan nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 and hundreds of thousands of times throughout the incident. In partnership with Kobe, Japan-based Translational Research Informatics Center, portions of the REMM site were translated into Japanese following the disaster.
The redesigned site now includes behavioral health resources and material for additional stakeholders, including first responders, senior health care leaders, veterinarians and public information officers.
“It is gratifying to hear from our users how often REMM information, including the multimedia assets, are used for teaching, training, emergency drills, and locating key references,” said Dr. Judith Bader, REMM’s managing editor.
So that health care professionals can find the information they need easily and quickly, the site has a more modern navigation system and includes menus at the top of the page to quickly access clinical tools, diagnosis, treatment information, reference data and a site overview.
Physicians and medical staff also can download a majority of the information from the website to use during an emergency if the internet is not accessible. A smartphone app containing REMM information, called Mobile REMM, also is available for the Apple and Android platforms.
While much of the REMM website has been redesigned, some popular features of the previous site have been enhanced and incorporated into the new site. One of the site’s most popular features, the REMM multimedia library, is now in a prominent carousel on the new homepage.
The previous web page addresses have also been retained, allowing users who bookmarked their favorite pages in the original REMM site to access that information in the new site without needing to update their bookmarks.