To forestall future overdoses and higher perceive these most affected by the disaster, Austin Public Well being created a brand new opioid overdose dashboard that provides the general public entry to information on opioid overdoses.
The dashboard gathers information throughout a number of sources, together with Austin/Travis County EMS, Travis County Well being and Human Companies and the Travis County Medical Examiner, and permits Austin Public Well being to speak the info to the general public in a single location, stated Janet Pichette, the chief epidemiologist at Austin Public Well being.
“Throughout our COVID response, we arrange an preliminary dashboard, and it grew to be two or three dashboards,” Pichette stated. “What is going to occur on this scenario as properly, as we get extra strong information and data, our dashboard will evolve to supply significantly better data.”
By together with statistics on deadly overdoses, non-fatal overdoses, overdose hospitalizations and Narcan distribution, the dashboard permits epidemiologists at Austin Public Well being to research which communities are extra weak to opioid overdoses. Pichette stated visualizing this information in a single place will assist goal prevention efforts and perceive the effectiveness of these efforts.
“Once I say prevention, it could possibly be outreach efforts like ensuring that we get Narcan to sure populations or have it accessible so bystanders know methods to use it and administer it if want be,” Pichette stated. “It’s not solely the distribution piece, but additionally the outreach and coaching on methods to use Narcan appropriately for harmless bystanders, relations or first responders who would possibly use it as properly.”
Longhorn EMS, a scholar authorities company selling public well being, offers drug security workshops for scholar organizations by its hurt discount committee. Sachi Kulkarni, a public well being senior and the director of the hurt discount committee, stated that whereas the dashboard helps funnel sources the place vital, training needs to be the principle focus.
“If I or any of us can do something to enhance training on methods to use Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose, methods to acknowledge overdose signs, methods to assist a buddy, and methods to save a life, I believe that’s actually vital going ahead,” Kulkarni stated. “I believe that bystanders and strangers and people varieties of individuals should be empowered with the sort of information as a result of that could be the factor that saves an individual’s life.”
Pichette stated the overdose dashboard would finally operate as only one piece of a collaborative information hub of many neighborhood sources. She stated the info hub would come with details about the place one can acquire Narcan, coaching sources on methods to use Narcan, restoration data and telephone numbers to request help anonymously.
“We’ve been working with hurt discount and a bunch of neighborhood organizations in addition to our first responders and different metropolis and county departments to get as a lot data for the neighborhood,” Pichette stated. “Hopefully, we’ll have the ability to collaborate and put that each one collectively in that information, which is able to present sources to the neighborhood.”