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Public Health, Emergency Response, and Medical Preparedness I: Medical Surge

  1. Eva K. Lee1,2,3,
  2. Anna Yang Yang1,2,3,
  3. Ferdinand Pietz4,
  4. Bernard Benecke5

Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms1041

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Lee, E. K., Yang, A. Y., Pietz, F. and Benecke, B. 2011. Public Health, Emergency Response, and Medical Preparedness I: Medical Surge. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare, Atlanta, Georgia

  2. 2

    NSF I/UCRC Center for Health Organization Transformation, Atlanta, Georgia

  3. 3

    Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia

  4. 4

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Strategic National Stockpile, Office for Public Health Preparedness Response, Atlanta, Georgia

  5. 5

    Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response, Atlanta, Georgia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

Abstract

Medical surge forms the cornerstone of preparedness planning efforts for major medical incidents. Surge capacity encompasses multidimensional aspects such as potential patient beds; available space in which patients may be triaged, managed, vaccinated, decontaminated, or simply located; available care personnel of all types; necessary medications, supplies, and equipment; and even the legal capacity to deliver health care under situations that exceed authorized capacity. Further, close collaboration between public health and health care facilities is very important to effective disaster response. In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the dissemination of anthrax in 2001, the ability of the US health care system to provide an effective and coordinated response to mass casualty or complex incidents came under intense scrutiny. More recently, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the mass disruption of public health and medical services along the Gulf Coast spotlighted the need for cohesive strategies that focus on management systems for major public health and medical response. In this article, we explore hospital surge capacity planning. Specifically, we will discuss issues related to surge patterns, the interplay of care personnel and staff, facilities, equipment and supplies, and incident management system. Approaches used in balancing daily operational efficiency versus maintaining an appropriate surge capacity will be discussed, and the importance of international collaboration is highlighted. Further, OR methodologies, including simulation, optimization, stochastic processes and systems dynamics models used in medical surge analysis will be briefly reviewed.

Keywords:

  • public health;
  • emergency response;
  • disaster medicine;
  • medical preparedness;
  • homeland security;
  • terrorist attack;
  • hospital surge capacity;
  • surge patterns;
  • incident management system;
  • international collaboration