Incidence rates, or the rates of new cases of a disease, are often shown as the rate per either 100,000 population or per 10,000 population, and provide valuable additional insight to the number of new cases of the disease.
In scenarios when comparing the incidence of a disease across different localities that have varying different sizes in population, looking at the incidence rate of that disease per 10,000 or per 100,000 population helps to show a more complete picture than would only looking at the number of new cases alone.
In conclusion, showing the incidence rate per 10,000 or per 100,000 population provides additional valuable insight in addition to showing the number of new cases of the disease. This is especially true when comparing the incidence rate of the disease across different localities that have varying sizes in populations. In addition, looking at the incidence rate per population is essential when comparing that rate to a state or national average for that disease or comparing it to a benchmark or goal that is in the format of an incidence rate per population.
Having good, accurate, and useful checklists for re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, or after any infectious disease outbreak that required closing or changing your organizations operations, makes it easier to communicate with everyone involved in your organization’s re-opening.
Note that it is important to use your own critical thinking skills to assess whether the source of the re-opening checklist or information about re-opening is a good, reliable source for this kind of information.
It is also important to use your critical thinking skills to assess whether the re-opening checklist or information about re-opening complies with state and local laws, ordinances in relation to re-opening in the localities in which your organization operates and for the type of industry that your organization works in.
For more about what critical thinking is or ways that you can help others improve their critical thinking skills, see our article on this topic.
The video below, part of RILLIAN’s 3 Minute Tuesday videos, mentions 3 good places to look for re-opening checklists or information on re-opening.
As mentioned in the above video, the first good source for kind information to develop a re-opening checklist is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for those in the U.S. or a similar governmental health authority in your country for those outside the U.S.
The CDC has a website to provide essential information in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on re-opening for many different types of organizations.
A second good source for re-opening checklists and information are the state and local health departments or boards of health for the locality or localities in which your organization operates. Some localities may call them health departments some may call them boards of health or other similar names. These sources provide information specific to your state or locality.
A third good place to look for re-opening checklists or information on re-opening is professional industry specific organizations or associations for the industry that your organization works in. These types of organizations may have re-opening checklists or information on re-opening that were adapted from information on re-opening from a source such as the CDC or state & local health departments and customized to be specific to that particular industry or profession.
There are more than the 3 good places to look for re-opening checklists or information on re-opening, such as OSHA, the FDA, Department of Agriculture, and many others. We only mentioned 3 of them in this short video.
What sources for re-opening checklists or information on re-opening during infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have you found to be helpful for your organization?
Contact tracing is a process of figuring out who has been in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with a communicable, infectious disease, such as COVID-19, contacting them to let them know they may have come into contact with a person who has the communicable, infectious disease, and informing them of their options for testing, treatment, care, and follow up.
This process is typically carried out through phone calls, although in the past as well as in some cases or reaching people who do not have phones it may have involved in person visits.
The person doing the contact tracing, called a contact tracer, informs the person they are calling or otherwise contacting, of testing options so that they can get tested to see if they have the disease. That is if testing is available for the disease in question.
The contact tracer also provides the person with how to prevent spreading the disease to others, information on where to get treatment — if treatment is available for that disease– and help the person understand the next steps that they should take with testing, preventing spreading the disease to others, and treatment.
For example, in the case of a COVID-19 exposure, this would include the contact tracer providing the person with instructions and support on how to self-isolate or self-quarantine, how to get tested if testing is available, and recommending what to do if their symptoms get worse, such as seeking medical care.
What should you do if a contact tracer calls or contacts you? By responding to them as quickly as you can, you can reduce the time it takes per person. If you have questions for them, such as if something they said was not clear to you, ask them. If they ask you questions, answer them as accurately as you can. Listen to and follow their instructions for testing, next steps, and preventing spreading the disease to others.
What if you’re looking for a job right now and you’re interested in becoming a contact tracer? A first step could be to learn more about the contact tracing process and make yourself more competitive when applying for a contact tracing job, such as by taking a free online course, such as the one offered by Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, available at https://www.coursera.org/learn/covid-19-contact-tracing?edocomorp=covid-19-contact-tracing .
Good places to look for contact tracing jobs are state and local health departments websites, under the jobs or careers section, since contact tracing is conducted by these entities in most places in the U.S. In some localities, or in instances of large outbreaks of infectious diseases, some localities may outsource contact tracing to other organizations that have experience in this kind of public health work. If you know of an organization like this in your community, you could also check their website for job openings.
RILLIAN does not have any job openings for contact tracers. We did not get any contracts to be involved in the contact tracing or case investigation process.
RILLIAN has developed a tool to reduce contact tracing time per person. You can download it here or by clicking the image above.
Let us know if you have any suggestions for topics in the areas of Research & Insights Leading to Learning, Innovation And actionN (R.I.L.L.I.A.N) that you would like to see us cover in our Three Minute Tuesday video series!
Email your suggestions to Jillian.Regan@RILLIANConsulting.com
Bicycling is an enjoyable form of physical activity for many people. Most people (89.8%) in a recent survey have ridden a bicycle at one point in their life.1 People ride bicycles for a variety of different reasons. A recent survey found that most survey respondents (76%) ride bicycles for fun and almost half (47%) also ride bicycles for exercise.1 Many (22%) ride bicycles to ride with friends, family, or coworkers who ride bicycles as well to commute to work or school (27%).1 Only a few people say they ride bicycles to help the environment (18%), run errands (6%), for bicycling competitions (2%) or do not ride bicycles at all (6%).1
The month of May is National Bike Month in the U.S. Celebrate Bike Month safely by taking into consideration recent bicycling safety research when riding a bicycle.
Wearing bicycling helmets has been proved to be effective in reducing head injuries as well as fatalities. Specifically, wearing helmets were found to reduce head injuries by 48%, serious head injuries by 60%, and traumatic brain injuries by 53% by a recent meta-analysis study.2 In addition, wearing bicycling helmets has been found to be protective against facial injuries, including facial fractures, as well as reduced hospitalization costs for those involved in a bicycling accident while wearing a bicycle helmet compared to those not wearing a helmet. 2,3,4
While wearing a bicycle helmet is definitely recommended, it is also important to note that the design of bicycle helmets is continuously improving and that not all bicycle helmets have the same level of protection against head injuries.5 It could be a good idea to get a new bicycle helmet every few years as well as more thoroughly research the safety, design, and customer reviews of different kinds of bicycling helmets before purchasing one.
It is important to keep in mind that bicycle helmets do not protect other areas of the body in case of a collision or other bicycling accident. For example, shoulder injuries, some of which can be quite serious, can occur from bicycling accidents and there is not yet any protective gear designed specifically for protecting the shoulders in case of an accident while riding a bicycle.6 This could be a great new market for the entrepreneurial minded looking to design a type of shoulder protective gear or adapt designs from other sports to be used for shoulder protection for bicyclists. For those who simply ride bicycles and are interested in designing gear to protect their shoulders, this can be a reminder to follow other safe practices for riding bicycles, such as following the rules of the road and not riding a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, in addition to wearing a helmet and to not ride more recklessly just because a helmet is being worn.
Visibility of the bicyclist on the road or on the trail is also an important safety factor to take into consideration. Using at least one visibility aid, such as a flashing light or reflective clothing while bicycling can reduce the chance of hospitalization from a motor vehicle collision.7 Wearing light colored clothing on the upper body to improve visibility while bicycling in the daytime, not just at night, is also important in reducing the risk of collision with motor vehicles.7
Attaching reflective tape to the back of the bicycle frame was founded to greatly increase the visibility of the bicycle at night and is a method highly recommended by the researchers,8 although may not be a popular idea with bicyclists who are concerned about the appearance of their bicycle and the risk of damaging the bicycle’s paint with reflective tape. Attaching reflective tape to the bicycle pedals was also found to improve bicycle visibility at night, but not as much as attaching the tape to the back of the bicycle frame.8
Another way of improving safety while bicycling can be through bicycling specific safety training specific. In a study of evidence based hazard perception training used with young elementary school aged bicyclists found that after the training, the young bicyclists detected more hazards and reacted more quickly than a control group of young bicyclist who did not receive the training.9 Focusing on safety when learning to ride a bicycle at a young age may help reduce bicycling accidents.
In addition to adolescents, older adults are another population who may be more at risk for bicycling injuries. While bicycling has many health benefits for older adults, such as maintaining balance control and coordination through regular bicycling which can help the risk of falling while walking, it is especially important that older adult bicyclists follow all safety precautions and only bicycle under safe conditions to avoid potentially debilitating injuries.10,11
Reviewing recent injury prevention research on different aspects of bicycling safety can give insight as how to take these ideas into consideration when celebrating National Bike Month in the month of May in the U.S. and enjoying a safe ride on a bicycle.
What recent bicycling safety research have you heard of that I didn’t include in this article? Share a link to it in the comments below!
Jillian Regan, MPH is a consultant at Rillian. She enjoys helping organizations find new ways or evaluate improve existing community health improvement efforts, so that the organization can better serve its community members, clients, customers, patients, or other stakeholders. Connect with her by email at Jillian.Regan@RillianConsulting.com or Twitter (@JillianReganMPH) or LinkedIn.
Follow Rillian on Facebook to get updates on articles like this one or updates about current projects, like a bicycling survey!
Sources: 1. Regan J. Not yet published preliminary results from recent bicycling survey. 2018.
2. Høye A. Bicycle helmets – To wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries. Accid Anal Prev. 2018 Apr 17;117:85-97. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.03.026.
3. Fitzpatrick DG, Goh M, Howlett DC, Williams M. Bicycle helmets are protective against facial injuries, including facial fractures: a meta-analysis. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Apr 2. Pii: S0901-5027(18)30077-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2018.03.005.
4. Michael PD, Davenport DL, Draus JM Jr. Bicycle Helmets Save More than Heads: Experience from a Pediatric Level I Trauma Hospital. Am Surg. 2017 Sep 1; 83(9): 1007-1011.http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sesc/tas/2017/00000083/00000009/ art00039;jsessionid=34vhu1ejf2uao.x-ic-live-01
5. Bland ML, Zuby DS, Mueller BC, Rowson S. Differences in the protective capabilities of bicycle helmets in real-world and standard-specified impact scenarios. Traffic Inj Prev. 2018 Feb 28;19(sup1):S158-S163. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2017.1388915.
6. Goldstein Y, Dolkart O, Kaufman E, Amar E, Sharfman ZT, Rath E, Mozes G, Maman E. Bicycle-Related Shoulder Injuries: Etiology and the Need for Protective Gear. Isr Med Assoc J. 2016 Jan;18(1):23-6.
7. Hagel BE, Romanow NT, Morgunov N, Embree T, Couperthwaite AB, Voaklander D, Rowe BH. The relationship between visibility aid use and motor vehicle related injuries among bicyclists presenting to emergency departments. Accid Anal Prev. 2014 Apr; 65:85-96. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.12.014. Epub 2014 Jan 3.
8. Costa M, Bonetti L, Bellelli M, Lantieri C, Vignali V, Simone A. Reflective Tape Applied to Bicycle Frame and Conspicuity Enhancement at Night. Hum Factors. 2017 May; 59(3): 485-500. Doi: 10.1177/0018720816677145. Epub 2016 Dec 6.
9. Zeuwts LHRH, Vansteenkiste P, Deconinck FJA, Cardon G, Lenoir M. Hazard perception training in young bicyclists improves early detection of risk: A cluster-randomized controlled trial. Accid Anal Prev. 2017 Nov;108:112-121. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.08.024. Epub 2017 Sep 1
10. Ikpeze, TC,Glaun, G, McCalla, D ,Elfar, J. Geriatric Cyclists: Assessing Risks, Safety, and Benefits. Geriatr Orthop Surg Rehabil. 2018 Jan 23;9:2151458517748742. doi: 10.1177/2151458517748742. eCollection 2018.
11. Batcir S, Melzer I. Daily Bicycling in Older Adults May Be Effective to Reduce Fall Risks – A Case Control Study. J Aging Phys Act. 2018 Jan 18:1-21. doi: 10.1123/japa.2017-0263