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This model practice outlines how the Milwaukee hospitals' establishment of a Regional Emergency Medicine Internet (REMI) allowed the City of Milwaukee Health Department to issue 24/7 alerts to all area emergency departments (EDs) and ambulances (e.g. for heat waves, an E. coli outbreak, West Nile, Homeland Security level, SARS), monitor diversion to detect and respond to health system crowding, provide ready access to reference materials (heat wave plan, bioterrorism agent recognition, West Nile tests), perform syndromic surveillance (e.g. heat-related morbidity, bioterrorism sentinel syndromes, SARS).
Included are details regarding responsiveness and innovation of the program, agency and community roles, costs, lessons learned, and key elements for replication.