Ebola Outbreak: Managing Health Information Resources


Course Overview

Course Quality Rating


Course Description

This course is provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).

The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak has resulted in an explosion of information on many aspects of managing the disease from a clinical and public health perspective. There is also considerable interest in related topics such as legalities of quarantine; ethics of vaccine development; shaming and isolation of Ebola survivors, family members of the deceased and Ebola orphans; food security; and the effects on healthcare for other medical conditions in areas with extremely limited resources. How does one make sense of the outpouring of information from news media, social media, publications and guidelines from international agencies, national governments, NGOs, and professional associations; situation reports; maps and other tools for visualizing the outbreak? What about health messaging materials like infographics, radio jingles, banners, TV interviews, and webinars? Join us to discuss the nature of information flow during an infectious disease outbreak, with a special focus on Ebola-related resources from the National Library of Medicine.

Presenter:  Cindy Love is a medical librarian with over 20 years’ experience in public health information management at the National Library of Medicine. As part of the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center, Cindy has developed information resources for every major U.S. and international disaster in the last 5 years. She co-authored a bibliography on “Viral Hemorrhagic Fever” in 1996.

See Archived recording and PPT slides by scrolling down to October 9, 2014 session: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/dismeetings.html#previous14 

Please note, at the beginning of this archived webinar there are sound/technical difficulties which are cleared up by the time the agenda is reviewed.                                                                                     

Click the LAUNCH button below to start or be taken to the course.

Target Audience

This course is designed for emergency responders / receivers, general public health staff, emergency management, emergency medical services (EMS), and hazardous materials personnel.

Learning Objectives

Having completed this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Track Ebola information
  2. Access Ebola-related resources from NLM
  3. Understand roles of librarians and information specialists
  4. Manage and avoid Ebola information overload

Council of Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (COL)/COL Tier(s)

  1. 3A.5 (Tier 1): Conveys data and information to professionals and the public using a variety of approaches (e.g., reports, presentations, email, letters)
  2. 6A.4 (Tier 1): Retrieves evidence (e.g., research findings, case reports, community surveys) from print and electronic sources (e.g., PubMed, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, The World Health Report) to support decision making 

Professional/Disciplinary Competencies

Public Health Preparedness Capabilities:

Community Preparedness

  1. Function 1: Determine risks to the health of the jurisdiction
  2. Function 2: Build community partnerships to support health preparedness
  3. Function 3: Engage with community organizations to foster public health, medical, and mental/behavioral health social networks
  4. Function 4: Coordinate training or guidance to ensure community engagement in preparedness efforts

Information Sharing

  1. Function 1: Identify stakeholders to be incorporated into information flow
  2. Function 2: Identify and develop rules and data elements for sharing
  3. Function 3: Exchange information to determine a common operating picture

Responder Safety and Health

  1. Function 1: Identify responder safety and health risks
  2. Function 2: Identify safety and personal protective needs 

Public Health Preparedness and Response Core:

Communicate and Manage Information

  1. Manage information related to an emergency
  2. Use principles of crisis and risk communications
  3. Report information potentially relevant to the identification and control of an emergency through the chain of command
  4. Collect data according to protocol
  5. Protect Worker health and Safety
  6. Maintain personal/family emergency preparedness plans

Healthcare System Preparedness Capabilities:

Information Sharing

  1. Function 1: Provide healthcare situational awareness that contributes to the incident common operating picture


Archived Webcast

Credit /CEU

None available


1 hr.


None listed

Course Publication Date