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Crisis Standards of Care
Volume 4: Hospitals
CSC Hospitals
HOSPITALS and acute care facilities providing acute medical care to the community have a "duty to plan" for mass casualty incidents, including planning for the expansion of clinical operations, commonly referred to as surge capacity.

Surge capacity occurs across a continuum that is based on resource availability and demand for health care services. One end of the continuum is defined by conventional responses - the maximal utilization of services usually provided in health care facilities; at the other end of the continuum is crisis care, when the care provided is the best possible given the very limited resources available. Along this continuum, significant changes are made in the methods and locations of care delivery, and the focus of decision making shifts from being primarily on individuals to being more population centered. Crisis care planning is a significant deficit in many emergency plans.