"No single community can prepare fully, nor respond completely, to a large-scale bioterrorism event. Regionalization of some aspects of preparedness planning for bioterrorism may facilitate a timely and effective response. The purpose of this project was to first identify the key tasks of responders during a bioterrorism response and the resources required to perform them, and then to evaluate the evidence about the potential effectiveness of existing regional systems for the delivery of these resources and services for bioterrorism preparedness and response. We searched the medical, emergency management, and supply chain management literatures and government documents. For each literature, we searched databases (e.g., MEDLINE®), Web sites, prominent journals, and bibliographies of retrieved articles. We sought articles describing the key tasks during responses to bioterrorism or bioterrorism-related events, the resources required for these responses, and existing regional systems for delivery of these resources. We included articles describing regionalized responses to the 2001 anthrax attack, naturally occurring outbreaks, and disasters; we also included articles describing regionalized systems for trauma care, bioterrorism surveillance, and the bioterrorism response supply chain. From articles meeting the inclusion criteria, we extracted information about the type of regionalized response system described in the article, whether it had been evaluated, and any evaluative results reported. […] Numerous regional systems exist for responding to bioterrorism; however, few have been evaluated. Efforts to coordinate them are ongoing and would likely benefit from evaluations of regionalized information management systems; of strategies to rapidly distribute and dispense pharmaceuticals and other response resources; and of plans to specify response roles, remuneration, and chain of command."
AHRQ Publication No. 04-E016-2
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/