Taking a Regional Healthcare Coalition Approach to Mitigating Surge Capacity Needs of Mass Casualty or Pandemic Events
McElwee, Jill A.
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Hospitals and healthcare facilities are not able to singularly mitigate the patient surge from a mass-casualty incident or pandemic health event. The potential volume of patients demands that regional healthcare communities be able to respond as a unified body to maintain the resiliency of their healthcare systems. The National Healthcare Preparedness Program advocates the establishment of fully functional, response-ready regional healthcare coalitions to meet this need. Establishing a regional healthcare coalition requires that an appropriate governance structure be established, a proper level of participation be solicited, and adequate funding mechanisms be put in place. This thesis offers a case study of how these factors influence the ability of three existing and distinctively different healthcare coalitions to prepare for a patient surge from a mass-casualty or pandemic health event. The thesis also shows the influence of each of the factors on a coalitions sustainability. The coalitions researched were Palm Beach County, Floridas Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition, King County, Washingtons Healthcare Coalition, and Jacksonville, Floridas First Coast Disaster Council. These three coalitions highlight differences and similarities in the governance structure, participation needs, and funding mechanisms of existing regional healthcare coalitions and show how each influences catastrophic patient surge mitigation in their region.
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