WHEN THE HOUSE IS FULL, BUT THE GUESTS KEEP COMING: DETERMINING THE IMPACT OF DAILY HOSPITAL OVERCROWDING ON DISASTER RESPONSE
Menefee, Charity M.
Fernandez, Lauren S.
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Hospitals throughout the United States are facing overcrowding every day, with more patients than available staff and space can accommodate, yet current disaster response policy related to managing a surge of patients does not include considerations for this daily challenge. This thesis investigates the questions that need to be answered regarding the foundational principles of current U.S. surge policy and how healthcare coalitions might assist in answering such questions. A gap analysis of current healthcare coalition policy related to surge was completed that identified the need for policy makers to continue to expand the role of evidence-based decision making for surge policy. As a result, this thesis recommends that additional data points be added for hospitals receiving patients during the required annual coalition surge test-related performance measures for healthcare coalitions. The additional data points are designed to help policy makers determine whether overcrowding impacts surge response, so policy can be adjusted if needed.
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