ECRI, a nonprofit health services research agency, announces the launch of its Web-based clearinghouse for information on medical device-related disaster relief — to benefit healthcare facilities affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Developed as a public service in the wake of the unprecedented disaster in the Gulf region, ECRI’s clearinghouse provides a central resource that healthcare facilities can turn to for information related to medical devices, supplies, and services being offered by manufacturers worldwide.
“One of the biggest challenges in the aftermath of this disaster is helping affected healthcare facilities find out what medical products and services are available and how to obtain them,” states James Keller, M.S., ECRI’s vice president for health technology evaluation and safety. “The most urgent need at this time is for information related to chronic care, such as dialysis, infusion therapy, and diabetes,” says Keller.
To initiate the Katrina relief effort, ECRI drew upon its database of medical device manufacturers, service companies, and distributors listed in its comprehensive online database – Health Devices International Sourcebase – and asked over 8,000 North American companies to submit information on all products or services being offered to help with the disaster relief effort.
According to Keller, who is leading the development of the information clearinghouse, “Device companies and other organizations have quickly responded with information and offers of assistance.”