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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Hospital Preparedness Program Overview

The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) provides leadership and funding through grants and cooperative agreements to States, territories, and eligible municipalities to improve surge capacity and enhance community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies. To date, states, territories, and large metropolitan areas have received HPP grants totaling over $4 billion to help Healthcare Coalitions, hospitals and other healthcare organizations strengthen medical surge and other Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities across the nation.
 
The program is managed the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which provides programmatic oversight and works with its partners in State, territorial, and municipal government to ensure that the program’s goals are met or exceeded.
 
This funding is used to support programs to help strengthen public health emergency preparedness in several ways:
 
Compass   Enhanced Planning:  HPP funding is used to enhance Healthcare Coalitions, hospitals and other healthcare organization’s collective system planning and response at the State, local, and territorial levels.
 Picture of medical symbol   Increasing Integration:  HPP facilitates the integration of public and private sector medical planning and assets to increase the preparedness, response, and surge capacity of Healthcare Coalitions, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.
 Picture of responders with ambulance   Improving Infrastructure:   Awardees have used HPP Grants and Special Initiative Grant funding to improve the State, local, and territorial infrastructures that help Healthcare Coalitions, hospitals and other healthcare organizations prepare for public health emergencies.

Background

The Hospital Preparedness Program grants distributed to 62 State and territory departments of public health support the building of healthcare capabilities as described in Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness. Grant awards help state and local governments, healthcare coalitions, and ESF #8 planners identify gaps in preparedness, determine specific priorities, and develop plans for building and sustaining the 8 national stakeholder-created and vetted healthcare-specific capabilities, to build community preparedness and resilient healthcare systems prepared for all events including pandemics. Recent incidents have highlighted the kinds of challenges the healthcare system is likely to face in a major disaster. There are many examples of states who have responded well, and whose success is largely attributable to capabilities built through HPP.
 
While the HPP program continues to encourage preparedness at the hospital level, evidence and real-world events have illustrated that hospitals cannot be successful in response without robust community healthcare coalition preparedness--engaging critical partners.  Critical partners include emergency management, public health, mental/behavioral health providers, as well as community and faith-based partners. Together these partners make up a community’s Healthcare Coalition (HCC).  A key goal of HPP moving forward is to strengthen the capabilities of the HCC, not just the individual hospital. HCCs are a cornerstone for the HPP and an integral component for community-wide planning for healthcare resiliency.
 
Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness takes an innovative capability approach to assist state and territory grant awardee planning that focuses on a jurisdiction’s capacity to take a course of action. Capabilities-based planning answers the question, “Do I have the right mix of training, organizations, plans, people, leadership and management, equipment, and facilities to perform a required emergency function?”  In brief, the 8 Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities are as follows:
 

  1. Healthcare System Preparedness – the required steps for planning, equipping, training, exercising, and evaluating activities are defined by the objectives and supporting resources that are needed to be prepared. It is a continuous cycle to ensure effective coordination during incident response.
  2. Healthcare System Recovery – encompasses both short-term and long-term efforts for the rebuilding and revitalization of affected communities. Recovery planning builds stakeholder partnerships that lead to community restoration and future sustainability and resiliency.
  3. Emergency Operations Coordination –a process to reduce the physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of an incident. Response planning provides rapid and disciplined incident assessment to ensure a quickly scalable, adaptable, and flexible response.
  4. Fatality Management – a process that occurs in the community and is led by agencies dependent on the state in which the incident occurs. It must be incorporated in the surveillance and intelligence sharing networks to identify sentinel cases of bioterrorism and other public health threats.
  5. Information Sharing – provides durable, reliable, and effective information exchanges between those responsible for gathering information and the analysts and consumers of threat-related information. 
  6. Medical Surge –the capability to rapidly expand the capacity of existing healthcare system in order to provide triage and subsequent medical care.
  7. Responder Safety and Health –identifies the critical resources needed to ensure that healthcare workers are protected from all hazards. 
  8. Volunteer Management – the capability to effectively coordinate the use of volunteers in support of domestic incident management. The goal is to use volunteers to augment incident operations.
The program is managed the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, (ASPR) which provides programmatic oversight and works with its partners in State, territorial, and municipal government to ensure that the program’s goals are met or exceeded.

 
 

  • This page last reviewed: June 05, 2014