In a public health crisis, healthcare resources will be overwhelmed. Hospitals and other buildings may be damaged. Healthcare workers may be dead, ill, injured, or caring for their families. At the same time, many in the community would be ill or injured. There would be a large increase in the need for medical care. To be ready, we need to plan for it now.
Ways that Oregon Public Health Division is addressing this need:
Medical Surge Planning
We work with partners in health care and public health from other states and from federal, tribal, regional, and local organizations. We establish mutual aid agreements, so that we can help them in a crisis, and they can help us.
Ensuring Adequate Healthcare Supplies During Medical Surge
We work with healthcare systems to keep stocks of key medical supplies in Oregon communities. This helps ensure that critical supplies are there when they are needed. We also have the ability to use the federal Strategic National Stockpile to get medicines and medical equipment promptly when disaster strikes.
Ensuring Adequate Healthcare Staff During Medical Surge
We maintain SERV-OR, a system of volunteer healthcare providers who can respond to help communities in need. We also support Medical Reserve Corps around the state whose healthcare providers can act quickly to provide care in a disaster.
Providing a framework for Crisis Health Care
People from around the state worked together to develop the Oregon Crisis Care Guidance (pdf). It outlines efficient ways to provide health care in a crisis. This could help save many people who might not otherwise survive. People from many disciplines helped develop the guidance. Some were nurses, physicians, or emergency medical staff. Some were hospital administrators or emergency managers. Others were experts in public health, law, or ethics. Together, they developed a plan to provide care in an effective, just, and compassionate way.
This guidance is a living document. It will change as we learn more.
Feedback requested on this Guidance
The Crisis Care Guidance Workgroup members are posting this guidance to get feedback from you. What you tell us will influence the content of the guidance going forward, because how we respond needs to be consistent with the values of our communities. Please take a look at the document. We hope you will share any comments or suggestions about the guidance in an e-mail to: CrisisCare.Comments@state.or.us