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HAvBED 2: Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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VI. Recommendations for Implementation

The HAvBED (Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters) Project Group, after testing, evaluation and review of the sustainable production HAvBED system, recommends the following:

A. Conceptual Recommendations

  • The HAvBED system should be implemented and supported on a national level. This will require that an implementation process and schedule be developed with appropriate ongoing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) support. This process should include education of hospital personnel and local and state health and emergency management personnel about the purpose and utility of the HAvBED system.
  • HHS should work with hospitals, state and local departments of health, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, and emergency managers to inform and educate them about the utility of the HAvBED system. These groups, in turn, will be instrumental in encouraging participation at the local level. This could be done via a series of conferences or meetings. Additional partners in this effort may include the Department of Homeland Security, the American Hospital Association (AHA), state hospital associations, emergency management professional organizations, and selected medical specialty professional organizations. This approach will offer and provide collaborative efforts at multiple levels as well as the greatest opportunity for acceptance and widespread implementation of such a system.
  • HHS, in concert with potential state, local, and national users, should develop a mechanism for testing the utility of the HAvBED system at these different levels of operation.
  • The HAvBED system should not replace any existing bed availability systems, but rather, whenever possible, should acquire and amalgamate data already being gathered by these pre-existing systems using the HAvBED Web services data interface.
  • Careful consideration should be given to the option of having the HAvBED system available for ongoing local and state use, if desired by these entities.
  • Hospitals not participating in a multi-institutional bed capacity system should provide necessary data via the HAvBED manual data entry Web interface when requested.
  • Incentives for hospital participation in the HAvBED system should be developed and implemented.

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B. Technical Recommendations

  • The HAvBED hospital (facility) data base (based upon the AHA hospital data) should be edited and updated to:
    1. Verify Active/Inactive status of the institutions, which was determined based upon hospital-supplied data to the AHA. (These data are sometimes incomplete.)
    2. Individual hospitals should verify (and edit where necessary) their AHA bed survey numbers and institutional contact information.
    3. Since the lists of those hospitals that participate in TriCare and the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) were not made available to the development group, these lists should be obtained and used to indicate the appropriate member affiliations of those institutions in the HAvBED database.
  • Additional system augmentation may be considered including:
    1. Enhanced notification of users concerning activation of the HAvBED system, including, but not limited to, individuals entering individual hospital bed availability data and state and local emergency managers/emergency operations centers (EOCs).
    2. Automatic presentation of detailed facility data for validation upon logon by any user who has data entry permission for that facility.
    3. Scaling of facility icons based upon map zoom level to avoid congestion over metropolitan areas.
    4. Potential improvement of some aspects of system responsiveness by addressing navigation tree refresh issues.
    5. Further refinement of what resources are displayed based upon facility category (e.g., not showing "mass decontamination status" for nursing homes).

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