Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response


Report at a Glance

  • Report Brief (PDF, HTML)
  • Public Engagement: Downloadable PowerPoint Briefing Slides (HTML)
  • Public Engagement: Guidebook For Table Facilitators and Note Takers (DOC)
  • Public Engagement: Lead Facilitator Guidebook (DOCX)
  • Press Release (HTML)
  • Public Engagement: Sponsor Guidebook (DOCX)
  • Template 5.1 - State and Local Core Functions for CSC Plan Development (PDF)
  • Template 5.2 - State and Local Core Functions for Implementing CSC Plans (PDF)
  • Template 6.1 - EMS Core Functions CSC Plan Development (PDF)
  • Template 6.2 - EMS Core Functions for Implementing CSC Plans (PDF)
  • Template 7.1 - Hospital Facilities and Providers Core Functions (PDF)
  • Template 8.1 - Out-of-Hospital and Alternate Care Systems Core Functions (PDF)

In 2011 alone, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, and earthquakes rocked New Zealand and Japan, underscoring how quickly and completely health systems can be overwhelmed. Disasters can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services.

At the request of the HHS, the IOM formed a committee in 2009, which developed guidance that health officials could use to establish and implement standards of care during disasters. In its first report, the committee defined “crisis standards of care” (CSC) as a state of being that indicates a substantial change in health care operations and the level of care that can be delivered in a public health emergency, justified by specific circumstances. During disasters, medical care must promote the use of limited resources to benefit the population as a whole.

In this report, the IOM examines the effect of its 2009 report, and develops vital templates to guide the efforts of professionals and organizations responsible for CSC planning and implementations. Integrated planning for a coordinated response by state and local governments, EMS, health care organizations, and health care providers in the community is critical to successfully responding to disasters. The report provides a foundation of underlying principles, steps needed to achieve implementation, and the pillars of the emergency response system, each separate and yet together upholding the jurisdictions that have the overarching authority for ensuring that CSC planning and response occurs.

See all of our Crisis Standards of Care Work >>