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Development of Models for Emergency Preparedness

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

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

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

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Personal Protective Equipment, Decontamination, Isolation/Quarantine, and Laboratory Capacity

Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies
Tools and Models for Planning and Preparedness

The emergency preparedness models in this report can help field- and facility-based health care professionals plan for and respond to bioterrorism events or public health emergencies. The evidence-based, best-practice models provide guidance on personal protective equipment, decontamination, isolation/quarantine, and laboratory capacity. The models were developed for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

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Of potential interest to emergency responders and health care professionals is a practical application for care of contaminated or infectious victims or first responders. In addition, a separate ready-to-use Mass Casualty Detailed Decontamination Model for calculating decontamination throughput and decontamination site staffing is available from SAIC. (Select for information on how to request this model.) The models also give guidance on handling laboratory surge capacity and effective isolation or quarantine methods.

Sample contents of the four models follow.

Personal Protective Equipment
Laboratory Capacity

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Detailed descriptions and comparisons of the classes of personal protective equipment.
  • Guidelines for facilities to use to develop a best-practices model for choosing and using personal protective equipment.
  • A succinct summary of guidelines for selecting personal protective equipment.


  • Regulatory requirements and sources of guidance on issues surrounding decontamination of patients in healthcare facilities.
  • A four-method approach to decontamination.
  • Detailed procedures for decontamination.
  • Guidelines for developing a best-practices model for decontamination.


  • Gaps and shortfalls to be overcome in current systems for isolation and quarantine.
  • Guidelines for developing a best-practices model for isolation and quarantine.

Laboratory Capacity

  • Definitions of biosafety levels in laboratories.
  • Background on the Laboratory Response Network established to standardize laboratory procedures across the country and formalize a network to respond to biological and chemical terrorism.
  • Laboratory surge capacity and biosecurity issues.
  • Issues surrounding how to handle an unknown sample.
  • Guidelines for developing a best-practices model for laboratory preparedness and capacity.

These topics and many more are covered in this report, which was prepared under contract to AHRQ by SAIC.

Note: This model is designed to perform on a computer with Microsoft® Access 2000 or later.

Accessibility Notice: This model is not resident on a Government Web site and therefore does not comply with the requirements for Federal information resources under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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Development of Models for Emergency Preparedness

The full report is available as a PDF file below. Your browser may support downloading this file by using the link below. Right click on the link and then select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox™ or Netscape®).

Current as of August 2005
AHRQ Publication No. 05-0099


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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