Public Health Emergency
Department of Health and Human Services
The Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC) is the policy home for the emergency care community within the federal government. The ECCC seeks to strengthen the day to day emergency care system so that the nation is better prepared in times of crisis. The ECCC focuses federal efforts on improvements to the delivery of daily emergency care that are the foundation of response to disasters and public health emergencies and is an essential part of Office of Policy and Planning, and the Division of Healthcare System Policy.
To lead the United States Government’s efforts to create an emergency care system that is patient- and community-centered; integrated into the broader healthcare system; high quality; and prepared to respond in times of public health emergencies.
As described in the 2014 ASPR Strategic Plan, ECCC focuses on a series of proposed activities related to its four primary mission areas.
Domain 1: Patient- and community- centered emergency care
Domain 2: Integration of emergency care into the broader healthcare system
Domain 3: Delivery of high quality emergency care
Domain 4: Prepared to respond in times of public health emergencies
In 2006, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on the Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System released its findings on the state of the U.S. Emergency Care System in three volumes. The reports, titled Hospital-Based Emergency Care: At the Breaking Point ; Emergency Medical Services: At the Crossroads ; and Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains describe a system that is “overburdened,” “underfunded,” “highly fragmented,” and “increasingly unable to appropriately respond to the demands placed upon it each and every day.”
Recognizing the precarious state of the emergency care in the U.S., the IOM recommended the development of “regionalized, coordinated, and accountable emergency care systems throughout the country.” The report also recommended that Congress “establish a lead agency for emergency and trauma care…housed in the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).” Following the IOM report in 2007, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21) mandated the creation of an office within DHHS that would “address the full spectrum of issues that have an impact on care in hospital emergency departments, including the entire continuum of patient care from pre-hospital to disposition from emergency or trauma care.”
The ECCC was created to fulfil that requirement and improve the delivery of daily emergency care in the United States.
The 2009 ECCC charter created “a Council on Emergency Medical Care (CEMC) to serve as the federal interagency group assisting with the coordination of emergency medical care activities across the federal government.” The CEMC is a forum for federal partners to construct a shared vision for the future of emergent and acute care in the U.S. healthcare system to:
Identify national issues related to emergent and acute care;
Identify opportunities for synergistic efforts across the USG to improve emergent and acute care; and
Serve as an advisory board to the ECCC.
The ECCC actively seeks to engage with non-Federal partners in the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. The ECCC has been represented at a variety of events such as national stakeholder conferences, Institute of Medicine forums, disaster preparedness conferences and more. Together with increased transparency, collaboration, and communication among stakeholders, the ECCC and its partners seek to improve the overall efficiency, safety, resiliency, and effectiveness of emergency care and the emergency care system.