State and local health agencies must develop protocols that guide providers on how to allocate scarce resources during public health crises, such as terrorist attacks or pandemics, the Institute of Medicine said in a new report to HHS, which commissioned the study.
IOM urges creation of state, local crisis protocols
Providers must have stronger legal protections to be able to make decisions that wouldn't be allowed during everyday care, such as preferentially treating some patients who are more likely to benefit than other patients when resources are scarce, the IOM said.
Attempting to maintain regular standards of care during a crisis that swamps clinicians and strains resources “is likely to result in greater death, injury or illness,” the IOM said. Community members and clinicians must help draw up the protocols so that they can be seen as equitable and transparent.
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