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Public Health Toolkit - Standards of Care (National Academies) 

07-26-2022 12:11 PM

During a disaster, decision makers, health care providers, responders, and the general public are confronted with novel and urgent situations. Efficient, effective, and rapid operational decision-making approaches are required to help the emergency response system take proactive steps and use resources effectively to provide patients with the best possible care given the circumstances. It is also essential to develop fair, just, and equitable processes for making decisions during catastrophic disasters in which there are not enough resources to provide all patients with the usual level of care. Decision-making approaches should be designed to address a rapidly evolving, dynamic, and often chaotic set of circumstances. Information is often incomplete and contradictory. Agencies and stakeholders need to understand what information is available to support operational decision making in this kind of situation, and what triggers may automatically activate particular responses or may require expert analysis prior to a decision. This toolkit is intended to help agencies and stakeholders have these discussions.

The objective of this toolkit is to facilitate a series of meetings at multiple tiers (individual agency and organization, coalition, jurisdiction, region, and state) about indicators and triggers that aid decision making about the provision of care in disasters and public health and medical emergencies. Specifically, the toolkit focuses on indicators and triggers that guide transitions along the continuum of care, from conventional standards of care to contingency surge response and standards of care to crisis surge response and standards of care, and back to conventional standards of care. The toolkit is intended as an instrument to drive planning and policy for disaster response, as well as to facilitate discussions among stakeholders that will help ensure coordination and resiliency during a response.

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