image_pdfimage_print October 7 [revised 2013 October 7]; 5: ecurrents.dis.67c1afe8d78ac2ab0ea52319eb119688. Abstract Background: Hospital surge capacity (HSC) is dependent on the ability to increase or conserve resources. However, emergency planners need to know which hospital resource are most critical in order to develop a more accurate plan for HSC in the event of a disaster.

In 2009, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed a Hospital Surge Model 6 that forecasted the hospital resources required to treat casualties resulting from 13 National Planning Scenarios 7. The AHRQ’s planning tool was discontinued on June 30, 20116. The objective of our study was to identify which of the AHRQ hospital resources were the most critical to care for patients in four of the National Planning Scenarios: pandemic influenza, radiation event, explosion, and nerve gas attack 7. This information is essential for hospital preparedness planners to make supply-chain driven decisions based on the number of patients treated. In addition, we wished to determine which of these critical hospital resources were common across multiple types of events, and distinguish resources that are critical only for specific scenarios.

Of the 132 hospital resources evaluated, 25 were considered critical in all four scenarios by more than 50% of participants (Table 2). There was 90% or more agreement among panelists on 16 of these 25 hospital resources, with agreement ranging from 64.7% to 100%. Crystalloid solution was the only resource that had 100% agreement on being critical, in all four scenarios.

Twenty five hospital resources were found to be critical to maintain continuity medical care in four disaster planning scenarios; namely radiation, pandemic influenza, explosives, and nerve gas scenarios. However, some specific disaster scenarios require additional critical specialized resources necessary for the corresponding type of disaster. Planning for each hospital should be dictated by the hazard vulnerability analysis, gauging their vulnerabilities within the environment, in order to prioritize and maintain adequate supplies of scenario-specific critical hospital resources. Further studies are needed in the field of hospital surge capacity, to validate these findings, determine utilization rates for each of the resources during a surge event, and to identify appropriate alternatives to these critical hospital resources36. Critical Resources for Hospital Surge Capacity: An Expert Consensus Panel