A Web-Based System for Mapping Laboratory Networks: Analysis of GLaDMap application

Shamir N Mukhi, Kashmeera Meghnath, Theodore I Kuschak, May Chu, Lai King Ng


Public health emergencies such as H1N1 and SARS pandemics have demonstrated and validated the necessity of a strong and cohesive laboratory response system that is able to respond to threats in an efficient and timely manner. Individual laboratories, through connection with other laboratories or networks, are able enhance their capacity for preparedness and response to emergencies. Efficient networks often establish standards and maintain best practices within member laboratories. The Global Laboratory Directory Mapping tool (GLaDMap) supports the efforts of laboratory networks to improve their connectivity by providing a simple and efficient tool to profile laboratories by geographic location, function or expertise. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the GLaDMap search tool and the completeness of the descriptive content of networks and laboratories that are currently contained within the GLaDMap database. We determined the extent of information volunteered and how the system is being used. Although the system aims to attract an array of users from around the globe, our analysis reveals minimal participation and information sharing and that the low profile participation rate limits the tool’s functionality. The Global Laboratory Directory platform has addressed barriers to participation by adding optional functionality such as restricted access to laboratory profiles to protect private information and by implementing additional functional applications complementary to GLaDMap.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v4i2.4186

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org