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Many patients who live in the community and need some degree
of medical assistance may be unable to manage if their resources or services
are depleted during a mass casualty event (MCE). Patients who are not directly
affected by an MCE but who have daily medical needs, those who cannot manage
their medical needs in a shelter, and those who do not have family caregivers are
likely to seek care at hospitals that will already be burdened by caring for
people directly affected by the MCE. This study investigates data sources to
enumerate and estimate the number of people who, though not directly affected
by an MCE, might seek hospital care during an MCE.
The report summarizes findings about the availability of
data to quantify the at-risk community population. The city of Worcester,
Massachusetts, was selected as the test area for determining how many residents
in a geographic area fall into one of the major at-risk categories. Worcester is located in central Massachusetts, 45 miles west of Boston, with a population
close to 175,500. It is the second largest city in New England.
Patients were grouped according to their functional, medical,
and psychosocial needs. Table 1 shows the types of care needs that were
included in each of the major categories.
A variety of data sources were studied for how well they
capture the care needs of the at-risk population, ease of use, availability,
and time of most recent update. Table 2 shows the data sources that were reviewed,
their geographic specificity, and the dates of the most recent data available.
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