New Report Offers Tools for Providing Health Care during Disasters

Disasters and public health emergencies can stress health care systems to the breaking point. During such crises, hospitals and long-term care facilities may be without power; trained staff, ambulances, medical supplies and beds could be in short supply; and alternate care facilities may need to be used.
Crisis Standards of Care: A Toolkit for Indicators and Triggers, a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), examines factors that guide the implementation of standards of care during a crisis. Indicators and triggers represent the information (indicators) and actions taken at specific thresholds (triggers) to help guide operational decision making about providing care during public health and medical emergencies and disasters. The report discusses indicators and triggers for both a slow onset scenario, such as pandemic influenza, and a no-notice scenario, such as an earthquake.
Download the report or read online for free.