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Open Access Commentary

Measuring healthcare preparedness: an all-hazards approach

David E Marcozzi1 and Nicole Lurie2*

Author Affiliations

1 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, US Department of Health and Human Services, 395 E Street, SW, 10th Floor, Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20201, USA

2 Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, 200 Independence Avenue SW, 638G, Washington, DC 20201, USA

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Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012, 1:42  doi:10.1186/2045-4015-1-42

Published: 25 October 2012

Abstract

In a paper appearing in this issue, Adini, et al. describe a struggle familiar to many emergency planners—the challenge of planning for all scenarios. The authors contend that all-hazards, or capabilities-based planning, in which a set of core capabilities applicable to numerous types of events is developed, is a more efficient way to achieve general health care system emergency preparedness than scenario-based planning. Essentially, the core of what is necessary to plan for and respond to one kind of disaster (e.g. a biologic event) is also necessary for planning and responding to other types of disasters, allowing for improvements in planning and maximizing efficiencies. While Adini, et al. have advanced the science of health care emergency preparedness through their consideration of 490 measures to assess preparedness, a shorter set of validated preparedness measures would support the dual goals of accountability and improved outcomes and could provide the basis for determining which actions in the name of preparedness really matter.