Before the World Health Organization declared a global flu pandemic in June, a sampling of states and localities showed they had not implemented an electronic medical system for managing medical volunteers in a surge, according to a new report from HHS' inspector general's office.
States lack e-systems for handling pandemic: report
The study reviewed the preparedness levels of five states and 10 localities as of late summer 2008—an entire year before the pandemic—using data from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both of which are a part of HHS. The report focused on five essential components of a medical surge, which were based on guidance from both the ASPR and CDC: coordination among stakeholders; recruitment and management of medical volunteers; acquisition and management of medical equipment; development of alternate care sites; and identification of guidelines for altering triage, admission and patient care.
“Fewer than half of the selected localities had started to recruit medical volunteers, and none of the five states had implemented an electronic system to manage them,” the report stated, adding that all states were required by ASPR to have electronic systems to register medical volunteers and verify credentials by August 2009.
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