Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Research has shown that most individual HCOs possess limited surge supplies, personnel, and equipment, and that vendors or anticipated "backup systems" for these critical assets are often shared among local and regional HCOs. This "double counting" of resources diminishes the ability to meet individually projected surge demands across multiple institutions during a medical emergency. To address this, the healthcare coalition (Tier 2) integrates all medical and health assets in a jurisdiction to coordinate their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities. In this way, HCOs work together to maximize MSCC rather than compete against one another for limited resources.
Much of the benefit gained from the healthcare coalition is evident in participant HCOs' Emergency Management Programs (EMPs) well before a major event occurs. Joint planning and preparedness efforts with geograph-ically related facilities are possible, even though the HCOs may normally be business competitors. Areas of mutual benefit include the following:
During incident response, coalition participants benefit through cooperative planning, information sharing, and management coordination. As surge demands challenge individual HCOs, the coalition facilitates mutual aid assistance through arrangements with nearby HCOs. Mutual aid is a timely, cost-effective, and reliable method to obtain added surge capacity and capability (via equipment, facilities, supplies, and personnel) that is immediately operational. It distributes health and medical assets to areas of greatest need, thereby enhancing overall jurisdictional MSCC.
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