Skip over global navigation links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Category: Hospital Preparedness

In High Demand: How Health Centers Can Build Surge Capacity, Support People with Access and Functional Needs, and Advance National Health Security

Author: ASPR/OPP Division of Policy and Strategic Planning
Published Date: 8/2/2017 10:34:00 AM
Category: National Health Security; Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

Our nation’s network of nearly 1,400 community health centers play a vital role in providing health care services to almost 25 million patients, including 8.4 million patients in rural health centers. When a disaster strikes, they have a key role in supporting national health security by continuing to provide services to the people they care for every day.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, community health cente  Read more…

Prepare to Play It Cool: Helping At-Risk Populations Combat Extreme Heat

Author: ASPR/OPP Division of Policy and Strategic Planning
Published Date: 6/29/2017 11:27:00 AM
Category: National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness;

Summer is officially in full swing, and temperatures are sizzling in several parts of the country. While hurricanes, floods, and storms may be the types of severe weather most emergency planners and responders consider, extreme heat can be just as damaging, if not more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat kills more than 600 people every year in the United States, making it a top cause of weather-related deaths.

Whether as a rising average temperature or as heat waves, extreme heat is a health threat that can be more far reaching than an  Read more…

The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in National Health Security

Author: ASPR/OPP Division of Policy and Strategic Planning
Published Date: 1/27/2017 2:01:00 PM
Category: National Health Security; Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

When it comes to national health security, creating new partnerships between private organizations and public entities is a key priority. These public-private partnerships (PPPs) often work to support health security efforts in new ways that can support communities in need, especially during or after a disaster event.

With 90 percent of critical health infrastructure operated by the private sector, creating new partnerships for public health organizations that can support preparedness and response planning is vital for creating truly health secure communities.

A publi  Read more…

Ensuring a coordinated response to Zika and other public health threats

Author: George W. Korch, Jr., Senior Science Advisor, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 12/5/2016 12:41:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

When the first confirmed case of Zika transmission was reported in Puerto Rico on December 31, 2015, there were no vaccine candidates for Zika. Today there are at least a dozen approaches in the US alone that are being evaluated to someday be available for general use. Diagnostic assays to help patients make informed decisions about their health are also under development.

How have so many medical countermeasures advanced so quickly to fight a threat that few people were worried about just last year?

The partners in the Public Health Emergency Medical Enterprise (PHEM  Read more…

Pikachu in the PICU: Pokémon Go Away!

Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D. Chief, Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch, HHS-ASPR and Michael Pry, Director, Continuous Improvement at Excela Health System
Published Date: 7/29/2016 3:27:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

By now you’ve heard of the new augmented reality game, Pokémon GO, which brings a beloved set of cartoon characters from the 1990s into your environment through an app on your cell phone.  Pokémon can appear anywhere on a map, so the game encourages you to walk around your neighbourhood to locations where the Pokémon can be found—generally known as  Pokéstops or Gyms.  You too can hunt, train, and capture Pokémon in your own backyard, your neighbourhood park, or… your local hospital…

That last location causes some challenges for maintaining safety a  Read more…

An Opportunity for Sharing Information about Cyber Attacks

Author: Dr. Karen DeSalvo Acting Assistant Secretary for Health & Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/25/2016 9:58:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness;

As recent news reports show, security breaches and ransomware attacks in the Healthcare and Public Health sector are on the rise.  Criminal cyber attacks against health care organizations are up 125 percent compared to five years ago, replacing employee negligence and lost or stolen laptops as the top cause of health care data breaches. The average consolidated total cost of a data breach was $3.8 million, a 23 percent increase from 2013 to 2015.

To better p  Read more…

When active shooters invade safe spaces, having a plan matters

Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D. Chief, Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch
Published Date: 6/14/2016 12:21:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

Planning considerations for health care settings

This week, we saw the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. When many people in the community talk about Pulse, the gay night club that was the scene of the attack, they say the same thing: “this was a safe place.”

The same can be said for hospitals:  we think of them as safe places. Yet according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, there were 154 hospital-related shootings from 2000-2011.

The stat  Read more…

Community Paramedicine and the Changing Face of Pre-Hospital Care

Author: Experts from the CMS Innovation Center
Published Date: 5/20/2016 10:59:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness;

For decades, emergency medical services (EMS) have conjured an image of ambulances speeding to save a life. We’re all familiar with their customary and important roles: rapid response for those in medical crisis; stabilization at the scene when necessary; and transport to hospital emergency departments (EDs) for continued management. Activated by a national network of 911 call centers, EMS professionals are poised for deployment to almost any site in the country to intervene in an emergency.

Today, however, many EMS systems have evolved from responding to medical emerge  Read more…

Putting Patients First: Reforming Emergency and Acute Care Delivery in the U.S.

Author: Aisha Hasan, Policy Analyst, Emergency Care Coordination Center, HHS/ASPR Division of Health System Policy
Published Date: 2/25/2016 11:40:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness; Innovations;

Meet 22-year-old John. He’s visiting his older sister, Ann, on Monday evening when he starts to throw-up and develops severe abdominal pain. John is in pain and Ann is scared. At around 7 p.m., Ann takes him to the urgent care center a block from her apartment.

Due to his persistent vomiting and history of kidney stones, John is sent to the closest emergency department (ED). He typically goes to a different hospital in town closer to his apartment and had a CT scan there last week. There is no health information exchange shared by the competing hospitals. Phone calls to t  Read more…

Integrating the Access and Functional Needs of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness into Pre-Disaster Planning and Coordination

Author: Cheryl A. Levine, Ph.D., Team Lead for At-Risk Individuals, Division for At Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Sulava Gautam, MPP, Program Analyst, GAPSI Contractor in support of the Division for At Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Samantha P. Williams, Ph.D., Research Psychologist, Social & Behavioral Research & Evaluation Branch, Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hep, STDs & TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Nicole Gaskin-Laniyan, Ph.D., Commander, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
Published Date: 8/21/2015 1:14:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

The need for more patient-centered care for America’s aging population

Author: Brendan Carr, M.D., director, ASPR Emergency Care Coordination Center, and Aisha Hasan, policy analyst, ASPR Division of Health System Policy
Published Date: 8/7/2015 4:12:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

Mr. G is 92 years old. He’s at home Friday at 8 p.m. He suddenly feels nauseated, a tad dizzy, and a bit unsteady on his feet. He recalls when he felt like this before, the culprit was dehydration. But how can he be sure? His primary care doctor’s office is closed at this hour, so he calls 911. An ambulance takes him to the nearest emergency department (ED). After a few bags of IV fluid, the symptoms are gone, and he feels much better.

The diagnosis? Dehydration. But now it’s close to 3 a.m. The only person at home is his 87-year-old wife, and he does not want to bother he  Read more…

What would you do if you knew?

Author: Kristen P. Finne, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Published Date: 7/16/2015 11:23:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Innovations;

Picture this: A storm or a summer heat wave leads to widespread rolling blackouts. Although the local electric company is rapidly working to restore power, full restoration in your community could take days. For most people, power outages are an inconvenience. For others, it can be a matter of life and death.

There are people in your community, perhaps in your neighborhood, who rely on medical and assistive equipment – such as oxygen concentrators, portable ventilators, electric wheelchairs – that require electricity. The longer the power outage lasts, the greater their   Read more…

TRACIE: Your Gateway to Smarter Emergency Preparedness Information

Author: Don R. Boyce, JD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Director of the Office of Emergency Management, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Published Date: 6/15/2015 10:57:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness;

Whether you work for a hospital, are part of a healthcare coalition, or are a healthcare provider, emergency manager or a public health practitioner, you are probably looking for a smarter way to keep the people who rely on you healthy, safe, and informed when disaster strikes. Finding information is easy – finding the right information can be a lot harder.

That’s where ASPR TRACIE comes in.

The ASPR Technical Resources Assistance Center and Information Exchange (ASPR TRACIE) is a new information gateway that connects publ  Read more…

Study Shows it Pays to be Prepared

Author: Benoit Stryckman, Health Economist, GAP Solutions, Inc. supporting the Office of Emergency Management, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 5/12/2015 5:05:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness; Innovations;

Governments, hospitals and other members of the public health community often wrestle with how to demonstrate the value of preparing for disasters. ASPR’s recent collaboration with a regional coalition in southeastern Pennsylvania provided a unique opportunity to measure the costs and benefits, and it resulted in one of the first economic evaluations applied to preparedness.

And, as it turns out, it truly does pay to be prepared.

Public and private public health organizations created the Surge Medical Assistance Response Team, or SMART, to address local disasters i  Read more…

Importance of Cultural and Linguistic Competency in Disaster Preparedness and Response

Author: Sulava Gautam, MPP and Yancy Padilla, Social Work Graduate Intern, Division for At Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
Published Date: 4/27/2015 9:19:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness; Observances;

This year’s National Minority Health Month provides a unique opportunity to reflect on our work in raising awareness and addressing the health care disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. While significant progress has been made towards advancing health equity in the last 30 years, as a nation, we still have a long way to go.

Research continuously demonstrates that minority populations are disproportionately impacted by disasters. Language barriers and cultural differences within communiti  Read more…

Your Roadmap to Protecting Health in Disasters

Author: By Jonathan Ban, Acting Director, Division of Policy and Strategic Planning, Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 3/10/2015 9:18:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness; National Health Security;

When disaster strikes, we want one basic question answered: Is everybody okay? As a husband and father, I want to know that my family is safe and healthy. I also want to know that my neighbors and friends are okay. Because I work for an agency dedicated to health security, I have a broader focus, too; I want to know that residents in every community across the country can continue to receive the care they need and that the community’s health care and public health systems can recover quickly.

Others may frame their worries a little differently. Hospitals and healthcare   Read more…

Why your community should be talking now about allocating scarce resources

Author: Deborah Knickerbocker, CEM, ASPR’s Office of Emergency Management
Published Date: 2/11/2015 3:31:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

The recent nationwide shortage of injectable solutions, such as normal saline and Lactated Ringer's (given intravenously to a patient to replace fluids and electrolytes lost from illness or injury), illustrates how a resource shortage can lead to a need to ethically allocate available resources.

At the local level, the decision is usually made on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a hospital has two patients, both of whom need the same resource – like saline or a ventilator – and only one resource is available, a medical provider or small group of providers (often w  Read more…

New tool available – because providing the best care for pediatric patients during disasters takes informed, thoughtful, and realistic planning

Author: Cynthia K. Hansen, PhD, Senior Advisor, National Healthcare Preparedness Programs, ASPR Office of Emergency Management
Published Date: 1/23/2015 3:29:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

Children comprise more than a quarter of the U.S. population and account for a fifth of all hospital emergency department visits. Yet in 2013 when the National Pediatric Readiness Project assessed approximately 5,000 U.S. emergency departments, less than half of the 82 percent of hospitals that responded reported having written disaster plans addressing the specific needs of children.

The physical and psychological needs of children in disasters aren’t the same as those of adults, and healthcare workers need specific training and equipment to provide this care on both a d  Read more…

BARDA-Sponsored Flu Drug Earns FDA Approval

Author: Richard, Hatchett, M.D., BARDA Chief Medical Officer
Published Date: 12/23/2014 11:31:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness; Innovations;

Our nation achieved a milestone in preparing for pandemic influenza with the FDA approval Friday of Rapivab (peramivir) to treat acute, uncomplicated influenza infection in adults 18 years and older.

Rapivab is the third neuraminidase inhibitor approved by the FDA to treat flu infection, but the first approved in an IV formulation that can be administered in a single dose. This distinction is important for patients who may be unable to swallow pills or inhale a me  Read more…

More than just hurricanes: Preparing healthcare facilities for extreme weather events

Author: Laura K. Wolf, Ph.D., Senior Program Analyst, Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch, Office of Emergency Management, HHS ASPR
Published Date: 5/30/2014 10:00:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

Author: Laura K. Wolf, Ph.D., Senior Program Analyst, Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch, Office of Emergency Management, HHS ASPR

It’s that time of year again—hurricane season is upon us! For most people who live in coastal areas, stockpiling food and water, battening down the hatches and checking on family and friends will get them through most storms. But for healthcare facilities, such as ho  Read more…

1 2