"As rural hospitals acknowledge their vulnerabilities and prepare for the threats of Bioterrorism and emerging microbial diseases, the relationships among rural communities, their health care providers, and policymakers encourage a climate of deliberation, altered business practices, and changed fiscal demand. Rural communities have unique population and infrastructure characteristics and vulnerabilities, which pose unprecedented challenges to rural hospitals as the demands of Bioterrorism preparedness and response are considered and addressed. Some of the greatest concerns include alerting remote and dispersed populations to threats and augmenting limited hospital facilities and human resources to meet the demands of an epidemic or a mass casualty medical emergency with limited transportation and communications infrastructures. This is the context that policy changes and funding deliberations must consider to shape the preparedness efforts of rural communities and their hospitals. The author provided this report to inform future initiatives to prepare America's hospitals against threats to Homeland Security."
National Defense University. Center for Technology and National Security Policy