Primary care group outlines swine flu management plan

Emergency departments are increasingly being hit with inflows of patients fearful that they have the H1N1 influenza virus, otherwise known as swine flu. Hoping to help hospitals manage the problem, the American College of Emergency Physicians has released a national strategic plan on how hospitals should manage emergency departments during H1N1 outbreaks.

The plan, produced under contract for two HHS offices, should help EDs prepared for a surge in H1N1 cases that could arrive as early as September, according to ACEP. It notes that previous pandemic patterns of the 20th century, including cases in 1918 and 1957, show that healthcare providers should prepare for higher levels of virulence in fall months.

The plan offers a handful of strategies for dealing with these inflows, including situational awareness; protecting ED infrastructure and personnel; organizing for timely responses to surge responses and preventing disruptions in ongoing service delivery. It also includes specific action items for hospital administrators to follow within 26 categories.

To learn more about this plan:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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