Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness: Optimizing Surge Capacity: Hospital Assessment and Planning [open pdf - 109KB]
The following issue brief on hospital assessment and planning in response to a biological terrorist attack was published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "A bioterrorist attack from a biological, chemical, or radiological agent, as well as emerging new epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are significant threats to public health in the United States. Yet most hospitals lack adequate beds, equipment, isolation facilities, and staff to respond to a largescale bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency. During these crises, hospitals will have to convert quickly from their current care capacity to surge capacity--that is, the maximum patient load a hospital or medical system can handle. A June 2003 Web-assisted audioconference sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focused on surge capacity assessment and regionalization of resources to respond to large numbers of people requiring immunization, treatment, or quarantine; the event was aimed at local, State, and health systems policymakers. Panelists included: s Commander Brad Austin, M.P.H., Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Program, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); s Michael Allswede, D.O., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System; s Stephen Cantrill, M.D., Denver Health Medical Center; and s Dena Bravata, M.D., M.S., Project Director of the Stanford--University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Evidence-based Practice Center. The audio conference also included a question and answer period, during which listeners were invited to submit questions to the panelists. This issue brief examines tools that can assist hospitals and other health care facilities to assess their current capacity and develop a plan to achieve surge capacity."
Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/
Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness (January 2004), Issue Brief No. 3