Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness: Surge Capacity: Facilities and Equipment   [open pdf - 153KB]

The following issue brief on the capacity of health facilities in a public health emergency was published by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "A large-scale public health emergency would be likely to result in great numbers of human casualties. The ill and injured would be expected to seek care wherever they thought possible: in hospitals, public health clinics, doctors' offices, and nontraditional settings. Planning for response to a bioterrorism event or other public health emergency must take into account the capacity of local and regional facilities to accommodate the surge in patient loads. Alternative care sites may be needed. In response to a hazardous materials, chemical, or nuclear event, decontamination would be required before patients are allowed to enter a treatment facility. A biological event might require isolation of patients. All of these events would require personal protective equipment for emergency responders and health care personnel. Pharmaceutical supplies must be available to treat patients. Finally, procedures must be in place to coordinate patient flow and treatment. In 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) expanded its Bioterrorism Preparedness Research portfolio to include several projects that focus on surge capacity issues. On July 13, 2004, AHRQ sponsored a Web conference devoted to the need for facilities and equipment as a critical component in planning for surge capacity. This issue brief summarizes that Web conference. Four panelists made presentations: s Lieutenant Commander Sumner Bossler, Jr., R.N., C.E.N., Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC s Bettina Stopford, R.N., Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia s David Markenson, M.D., Director, The Program for Pediatric Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York s David Gruber, Assistant Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, New Jersey" Health

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Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/
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Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness (October 2005), Issue Brief No. 8
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