Training of Clinicians for Public Health Events Relevant to Bioterrorism Preparedness [open pdf - 43KB]
Recent terrorist attacks against the United States have increased awareness of the Nation's vulnerability to terrorism. One particularly serious form of terrorism involves the use of biological weapons that could cause devastating epidemics. To minimize the risks of bioterrorism, the United States has made bioterrorism preparedness a priority for government and military agencies, public health advocates, law enforcement, first responders, and health care professionals. Based on the recommendation of a working group led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preparation efforts are concentrating on smallpox, anthrax, plague, botulism, tularemia, and the viral hemorrhagic fevers. These agents have been chosen as areas of focus due to their ease of dissemination and transmission, high mortality rates, ability to cause public panic, and need for special public health preparedness. Until recently, the public and private health care sectors had been largely excluded from the Nation's bioterrorism preparatory efforts. The very group that would handle the consequences of an attack has yet to receive widespread education on the topic. Fortunately, the value of bioterrorism education has been recently recognized, leading to a significant question: How does one effectively train clinicians for such an unusual public health crisis? The purpose of this evidence report is to identify and review data on the most effective ways to train clinicians to respond to a bioterrorist attack or other public health event posing similar challenges to the health care system.
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 51
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, http://www.ahcpr.gov