HHS Releases Hospital Hazard-Readiness Stats

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , May 6, 2011

The report suggests that hospitals focus on building coalitions within communities so that hospitals, government agencies, nongovernment organizations, businesses, and community residents work as a team to prepare for disasters. The report recommends that the coalitions involve all populations within communities, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, and other vulnerable people, HHS said.

In July 2010, states, territories, and large metropolitan areas received HPP grants totaling $390.5 million to help hospitals and other healthcare organizations strengthen the medical surge capability across the nation. HPP funding focuses on enhancing planning, increasing integration between public and private sector medical planning and assets, and improving infrastructure, HHS said.

HHS established the program in 2002 as the National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program to enhance hospitals' ability to respond to a biological attack by increasing stockpiles of equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals that would not have been purchased by financially strained institutions without the program. Since that time, the program evolved to support preparedness for all hazards, HHS said.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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