Report at a Glance
IOM Report Provides Framework and Tools to Deliver Health Care Effectively During Catastrophic Disasters
While most areas of the country have systems in place to handle conventional disasters, such as a plane crash or building collapse, the infrastructure and systems to deliver health care during or following catastrophic situations, such as a widespread disease outbreak or a devastating earthquake, are rudimentary at best, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report provides a resource manual to guide health care organizations, public health agencies, first responder teams, and government agencies in delivering care as effectively as possible to the greatest number of people when such disasters occur.
The report recommends a systems-based approach to allocating resources and delivering care during crises. It also provides tools and templates to help different stakeholders involved in disaster planning and response identify their core functions and responsibilities. The report builds on earlier IOM study on developing and implementing crisis standards of care, which specify changes in operations that should apply in situations when usual medical capacity is overwhelmed and resources are scarce.