AbstractPublic 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.
Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and OJPHI are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes. Share-alike: when posting copies or adaptations of the work, release the work under the same license as the original. For any other use of articles, please contact the copyright owner. The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work, including uses infringing the above license. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.