Medicine of the Future in America

Care of the Critically ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: High-Quality Care

Care of the Critically ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: High-Quality CareWith a strong foundation of patient care established, health-care providers for the critically ill need additional support to ensure adequate, high-quality care. As disasters evolve, treatments may change, thus requiring rapid education of providers. When resources are scarce, staff may need to triage those limited resources among many patients, therefore requiring an ethical system to determine resource use. An ICU subspecialist, such as a burn surgeon, may have a limited ability to cover large geographic areas. The Task Force suggestions place a particular emphasis on the use of technology and telemedicine, particularly surrounding an expanded scope of practice in some specialist-limited areas (eg, burns and trauma). Baseline education and just-in-time training, along with mental health support during difficult decision-making, is also designed to allow providers to deliver the best care without the impact larger resource decisions would have. With these suggestions, the health-care worker will be fully supported to deliver the best care possible at the bedside, with a structured framework for triage and clinical decision support, specialist support, and just-in-time education for difficult-to-treat illnesses. buy zoloft online
To optimize provider support and patient outcomes in mass critical care, the Task Force offered a series of suggestions aimed at hospitals and health-care systems. The disaster literature focuses largely on patient-care delivery and provider support, and the Task Force realized that bedside care will suffer if health-care communities are not prepared. The transition from daily patient care, such as elective surgery, to disaster response and mass critical care is difficult, and if carried out poorly or late, can lead to poor patient outcomes. Most health systems require little storage with real-time delivery, and if not prepared with additional supplies, patient care can suffer with even smaller surges of critically ill patients.2A13 The disaster may involve the health system itself, and business operations may need relocation, thus affecting the continued ability to provide both structure and supplies. The Task Force recommendations of a 20% increase in surge within the health system resources to a 200% surge with regional and national resource support sets an international benchmark for health system preparedness. These suggestions, together with continuing operations planning and disaster team structure, provide the disaster response framework for a health system that can ensure optimal critical care delivery during a disaster.

This entry was posted in Care and tagged critical care, critically ill patients, health care.
Copyright © 2012 Medicine of the Future in America