ATLANTAThe state of Georgia is seeking to buy portable field hospitals to manage patient surges during disasters.
Georgias surge plan
Seeking 17 portable field hospitals
State officials estimate they need a total of 17 units with 50-bed capacitycomplete with treatment facilities and pharmaciesthat can be constructed anywhere on short notice. The systems could be used in isolated emergencies or in times of widespread public health emergencies, the state said in a request for proposals seeking a company that can provide the hospitals.
Georgias effort is part of the states overall emergency preparedness planning in accordance with federal programs developed after the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks. Georgias current hospital system is not fully equipped to handle a widespread emergency, such as a bioterrorist attack or pandemic flu outbreak, officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report indicating that hospitals are still unprepared for a disaster (Aug. 20, p. 10).
The field hospitals sought by Georgia would add capacity either as stand-alone units, or as a conjoined system of up to 850 beds with work shelters, patient-care shelters, and care-support systems. We have planned as far back as three years ago to purchase portable field hospitals as a way of expanding surge capacity in Georgia, said Belen Moran, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources.
The facilities (could) be erected on the grounds of existing permanent hospitals that needed additional surge beds, and patients who are almost ready for discharge would be moved from regular hospital beds out to the field hospital beds, she said.
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