Understanding the Roles of Rural Hospitals in Responding to Bioterrorist Attacks and Other Emergencies

The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of rural Emergency Room (ER) capacity and the nature of constraints in expanding capacity in response to demand surge caused by emergencies, including acts of terrorism or bioterrorism.

Specific issues that were investigated include:
  • ER capacity and surge capacity in rural hospitals
  • Constraints on this capacity, including workforce and equipment and supply concerns
  • Current emergency preparedness planning of rural hospitals for surges
  • Whether emergency preparedness plans specifically address bioterrorism and related workforce training needs
These issues were investigated using a comprehensive review of the literature, discussions with hospital administrators, and an expert panel discussion.

This project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center.

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