Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The Nebraska Regional Disaster Health Response Ecosystem (NRDHRE) is a demonstration project led by Nebraska Medicine, an 809-bed health system serving the Omaha metropolitan area, and supported by collaborators across Nebraska and Western Iowa.
Nebraska Medicine and its research and education partner University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) are recognized as world leaders in preparedness for biological threats, as the home of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and a founding member of the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC). Nebraska Medicine (NM) is one of only two Level I ACS trauma centers in the state and fills a key role in the Omaha Metropolitan Healthcare Coalition and Region VII disaster preparedness enterprise, making it a regional centerpiece for health system preparedness and response for all hazards.
The NDHRE project is a concerted effort to address recognized gaps in our national health system’s readiness. Despite significant progress in hospital and public health preparedness, healthcare systems remain vulnerable to large-scale public health emergencies and disasters.
To move toward a more robust and resilient system, NRDHRE seeks to transform current public-private interdependencies into public-private partnerships in preparedness and response.
NRDHRE will emphasize four themes in its approach:
It will pursue fulfillment of these themes through the creation of five complementary enablers:
NRDHRE will use these enablers and themes to create a facile, scalable, and sustainable regional system for health system response.
Some examples of how these components could work together include:
UNMC/NM will leverage established relationships formed through a long history of outreach education in rural health/disaster preparedness, infection prevention and control training, and highly-dangerous pathogen care to enhance existing capabilities. Nebraska has a robust system of 6 regional health care coalitions covering the entire state and major tertiary care referral centers in the Omaha/Lincoln metro corridor that will serve as the foundation for the NRDHRE.
NRDHRE’s goal is to innovate to reduce dependence on specific Federal funding lines, increase coordination of preparedness efforts, expand overall capacity for health system surge, and tap into underutilized community resources that would augment health system preparedness and response. NRDHRE envisions a regional network that more resembles a natural ecosystem: self-organizing, self-actuating, flexible, resilient, and sustainable.
In the course of this one-year demonstration, NRDHRE will coordinate government, private sector, and community organizations to assess gaps and align plans. NRDHRE will work across the community level to create self-organizing medical response capabilities, vertically integrate traditional and non-traditional healthcare delivery for tiered systems of care, increase penetrance of specialty care services, and facilitate community-based solutions for growth and sustainability.
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