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Tracking antimicrobials dispensed during an anthrax attack: A case study from the New Hampshire anthrax exercise

Jeanne Tropper, MS, MPH, Chris Adamski, RN, MSN, Cynthia Vinion, MEA, Sanjeeb Sapkota, MBBS, MPH


The Countermeasure and Response Administration (CRA) system is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informatics application developed to track countermeasures, including medical interventions (eg, vaccinations and pharmaceuticals) and nonmedical interventions (eg, patient isolation, quarantine, and personal protective equipment), administered during a public health response. This case study follows the use of CRA as a supplement to paper-based processes during an exercise in which antimicrobials dispensed to individual exposed persons were captured after a simulated bioterrorist attack of anthrax spores. The exercise was conducted by the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services on April 14, 2007.
Automated systems like CRA can track when medications are dispensed. The data can then be used for performance metrics, statistics, and in locating victims for follow-up study. Given that this case study was limited to a single location in a relatively rural setting, the authors concluded that more study is needed to compare the feasibility of using an automated system rather than paper-based processes for effectively managing a very large-scale urgent public health response.


anthrax, antimicrobials, informatics, tracking, monitoring, countermeasures

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