Defining Standards of Care During a Crisis

 Hospital-Sign: Emergency Disasters can overwhelm a health care system so quickly that delivery of medical services can be very difficult. In a new report the Institute of Medicine developed guidance that health care professionals can use to establish a standard of care during a disaster. The report “Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response,” defines “‘crisis standards of care’ (CSC) as a state of being that indicates a substantial change in health care operations and the level of care that can be delivered in a public health emergency, justified by specific circumstances. During disasters, medical care must promote the use of limited resources to benefit the population as a whole.”

The report offers useful templates to help health care professionals implement CSC. “The report provides a foundation of underlying principles, steps needed to achieve implementation, and the pillars of the emergency response system, each separate and yet together upholding the jurisdictions that have the overarching authority for ensuring that CSC planning and response occurs.”

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