New Tool Estimates Emergencies' Patient Surges

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a new Web-based interactive tool to help hospitals and emergency planners identify resource requirements to treat an influx of patients due to major disasters such as an influenza pandemic or a terrorist attack. The Hospital Surge Model provides essential resource information for emergency planning strategies. It is able to estimate, by day, the number and flow of casualties needing medical attention for scenarios selected by users. These scenarios are consistent with the Homeland Security Counsel's National Planning Scenarios.

For instance, planners can use the model to estimate:

  • How many patients each hospital unit will need to treat each day following an event.
  • Casualty arrival patterns and peak days of patient care.
  • Day by day use of the personnel, equipment, and supplies needed by each hospital to treat casualties.
  • A daily count of anticipated deaths and patient discharges.

The Hospital Surge Model was developed by AHRQ in collaboration with HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. For more details on the Hospital Surge Model, visit http://hospitalsurgemodel.ahrq.gov. Other AHRQ emergency preparedness tools and resources are available at www.ahrq.gov/prep.

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