Meeting the Challenge: Public Health Emergencies & the Special Needs Populations

Dealing with earthquakes, hurricanes, and/or terrorist attacks is difficult enough for first responders as well as emergency managers. Add to that, though, the need to protect, provide medical care for, and/or possibly transport people suffering from various medical problems makes the challenge exponentially more difficult. Once again, advance planning and attention to detail are the keys to success.

Preparing for Unexpected Hospital Surges

Some of the best “solutions” create other problems, as Canada found out during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Once again, the best way to avoid such secondary problems is through advance planning, plus training and exercises, with all stakeholders involved every step of the way.

Hospital Surge Capacity - A Moving Target

The emergency rooms of most U.S. hospitals are often overcrowded even on a supposedly “slow” day. A mass-casualty incident makes the situation exponentially worse, creating a simultaneous demand for additional space, a larger staff, and more medical supplies. The last resort is usually the use of an alternate-care site – which is not always available.

Leadership and Stewardship in Microeconomic Decision-Making

Protection of the nation’s “critical infrastructure” has long been one of the highest priorities of senior officials at all levels of government. After 9/11, response and recovery started to receive equal billing. Now comes belated recognition that “resilience” also is needed – and should be built into construction projects at every step of the way from dream to reality.

Electronic Medical Records - Potential Benefits of a 'Health Cloud'

The 21st-century world of high-tech communications – ranging from the transmission of classified information to social texting and junk mail – has not yet, partly because of privacy concerns, significantly improved the forwarding of medical records. What can and should be done about this?

DHR, MEMA, the LEMs & Maryland's WST Example

The 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama was a truly historic event in many ways – and for many reasons, not least of which is that it provided a “golden standard” opportunity for the State of Maryland and its National Capital Region partners to use, validate, and learn from a real-world test of their ESF #6 (Mass Care & Sheltering) capabilities.

Hospital Expansion Through Alternate Care Sites

At a time in U.S. history when mass-casualty events are not only more frequent but also much better publicized, the numerous public and private-sector agencies involved are, correctly, focusing greater attention on their own preparedness to cope with such “when, not if” situations. Hospitals, for example, many of which are perennially overcrowded, are desperately looking for more space to handle double or triple their normal patient capacity.
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