Title: Regional health authorities, disaster management, and geomatics: opportunities and barriers

Authors: Kenton Friesen, Doug Bell

Addresses: Emergency Management Program, Environmental Health and Safety Office, University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus, Room 191, Frank Kennedy Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. ' Dillon Consulting Limited, 200–895 Waverley Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 5P4, Canada

Abstract: As society becomes increasingly urbanised the relationship between the built environment and risk also becomes increasingly complex. Disaster management and public health professionals are employing technology as tools to assist them with understanding these complexities. Specifically, geomatics technology is connecting the power of spatial analysis with the efficiency of database management. Within the public health system, implementing geomatics technology has barriers related to a misconception or misunderstanding of its capabilities. Overcoming the barriers at Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) requires a coordinated effort or strategy. With the absence of these coordinated efforts and strategies RHAs will struggle with implementing geomatics technology. In order to take full advantage of geomatics technology for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery purposes, RHAs will need to evaluate their commitment to the technology and allocate valuable resources appropriately.

Keywords: healthcare; disaster management; geomatics; geographic information systems; GIS; Regional Health Authorities; RHAs; opportunities; barriers; public health; emergency management; Canada.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2007.013987

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2007 Vol.4 No.2, pp.141 - 165

Published online: 07 Jun 2007 *

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