Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness: Surge Capacity-Education and Training for a Qualified Workforce   [open pdf - 139KB]

The following issue brief on the ability of the health care system to respond to public health emergencies was published by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Surge capacity is a health care system's ability to expand quickly beyond normal services to meet an increased demand for medical care in the event of bioterrorism or other largescale public health emergencies. A health system's ability to expand its services rapidly depends on the availability of qualified personnel and their ability to perform tasks assigned to them. Building a qualified workforce requires that disaster planners recruit previously untapped resources, such as non-active nurses, and provide training to ensure that these personnel are prepared to respond to significantly increased surge capacity requirements. On March 2, 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored a Web-assisted audio conference that examined how education and training efforts are being used to create and maintain the readiness of an appropriately trained workforce that can respond to a sudden increase in surge capacity needs. Presentations were made by the following researchers and practitioners: s Joan P. Cioffi, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta; s Terri Spear, Ed.M., Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Md.; s Michael Allswede, D.O., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System, Pittsburgh; and s Betsy Weiner, Ph.D., R.N., B.C., FAAN, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. This issue brief summarizes those presentations and the question and answer period that followed. Dr. Cioffi and Ms. Spear described education and training initiatives sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), respectively. Dr. Allswede described his AHRQfunded project to develop noncontiguous training that teaches hospital personnel the skills they need to respond to bioterrorism or other large-scale public health emergencies. Dr. Weiner discussed her project, also funded by AHRQ, to develop and evaluate Web-based and face-to-face training modules to prepare volunteer nurses to respond to public health emergencies. A recurring theme of the audio conference was the importance of competency-based training."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/
Media Type:
Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness (October 2004), Issue Brief No. 7
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