The objectives of this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General report were to determine how prepared States and localities are for a medical surge in response to an influenza pandemic and to determine the extent to which they have conducted exercises to test their medical surge preparedness for a pandemic influenza event. "If a severe pandemic occurs, it will affect much of the country at the same time, so medical resources-such as hospital beds, medical equipment, and personnel-will likely be scarce. The ability to rapidly respond to an increased demand for medical resources is often referred to as a medical surge. This study focuses on the following five key components of medical surge that are based on guidance from ASPR and CDC: coordination among stakeholders, recruitment and management of medical volunteers, acquisition and management of medical equipment, development of alternate care sites, and identification of guidelines for altering triage, admission, and patient care. This study is based on a purposive sample of 5 States and 10 localities and presents a snapshot of these States' and localities' preparedness for an influenza pandemic as of late summer 2008. The study is based on a review of documentation from ASPR, CDC, and the selected States and localities, as well as structured in-person interviews with key officials in each of the selected States and localities."
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OEI-02-08-00210
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General: http://oig.hhs.gov/