A second key is to visualize—as well as possible—any circumstances you might face personally and professionally and to formulate questions, seek answers, and talk to colleagues and supervisors about what your role will be. A third factor is to participate in training in the form of drills and tabletop exercises for your hospital. An unpracticed disaster plan may be more dangerous than no plan at all. TH
Andrea Sattinger also writes the “Alliances” department in this issue.
- AHRQ. Altered Standards of Care in Mass Casualty Events. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2005:Health Systems Research Inc. under Contract No. 290-04-0010.
- Hick JL, Hanfling D, Burstein JL, et al. Health care facility and community strategies for patient care surge capacity. Ann Emerg Med. 2004 Sep;44(3):253-261.
- Greenough PG, Kirsch TD. Hurricane Katrina. Public health response—assessing needs. N Engl J Med. 2005 Oct 13;353(15):1544-1546.
- Rathbun KC, Cranmer H. Hurricane Katrina and disaster medical care. N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 16;354:772-773.
- Hsu EB, Jenckes MW, Catlett CL, et al. Training of hospital staff to respond to a mass casualty incident. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 95. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Prepared by the Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0018; June 2004: AHRQ Publication No. 04-E015-2. Accessible at: www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/hospmci/hospmci.pdf. Last accessed June 1, 2006.
- Centers for Disease Control, Emergency Preparedness and Response: www.bt.cdc.gov/
- The Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS) is an emergency management system that employs a logical management structure, defined responsibilities, clear reporting channels, and a common nomenclature to help unify hospitals with other emergency responders: www.emsa.cahwnet.gov/dms2/heics3.htm
- State, local, and tribal public health departments have their own public health preparedness and response plans.
- The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH): www.cdc.gov/nceh/emergency.htm.
- Two other CDC resources contain materials to address public health preparedness needs: the Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services (EEHS) and the Environmental Public Health Readiness Branch (EPHRB). See all-hazards public health emergency response guide): www.cdc.gov/nceh/eehs/
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for family preparedness: www.ready.gov/
- AHRQ bioterrorism link: www.ahrq.gov/news/pubcat/c_biot.htm#biot002
- George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management offers programs, including training, in the area of crisis, emergency and risk management: www.gwu.edu/~icdrm/
- North Carolina Links—North Carolina Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (NC PHPR): www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/phpr/provides information and resources regarding the threat of bioterrorism and other emerging infectious diseases within the state and around the nation.
- The Health Alert Network (HAN) system is designed to immediately alert key health officials and care providers in North Carolina to acts of bioterrorism as well as other types of emerging disease threats: www.nchan.org/
- DPH Immunization branch: www.immunizenc.com/
- State Web sites, such as San Diego Country Office of Emergency Systems: www.co.sandiego.ca.us/oes/ or the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Terrorism Preparedness: www.co.san-diego.ca.us/terrorism/links.html