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AHRQ Resources for Pandemic Flu and Other Public Health Emergencies

This resource was developed by AHRQ as part of its Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011. Many of AHRQ's PHEP materials and activities will be supported by other Federal agencies. Notice of transfer to another agency will be posted on this site.

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 It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work.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.

Please go to for current information.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's research in public health emergency preparedness is an outgrowth of its mission to develop evidence-based information to improve the quality of the U.S. health care system. This is critical to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developing programs to combat bioterrorism and other public health emergencies such as pandemic flu.

To help communities prepare for a flu pandemic and other emergencies, AHRQ offers these tools from its Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Program.

Bioterrorism and Epidemic Outbreak Response Model (BERM) Version 2

BERM allows planners to formulate realistic mass antibiotic dispensing and vaccination contingency plans for target populations. This computer model predicts the number and type of staff needed to respond to a major disease outbreak or bioterrorism attack on a given population. The model will calculate estimates of recommended per-clinic and campaign-wide core staff and support staff based on user inputs.

 Go to: for the model.

Community-Based Mass Prophylaxis: A Planning Guide for Public Health Preparedness

This comprehensive guide can help planners set up and operate dispensing/vaccination centers to respond to a large-scale natural disease epidemic such as pandemic flu. An accompanying computer model can help local health care systems calculate needs based on projected number of staff and patients. The model is downloadable as a spreadsheet or accessible as a Web-based version.

 Go to:

Development of Models for Emergency Preparedness: Personal Protective Equipment, Decontamination, Isolation/Quarantine, and Laboratory Capacity

The evidence-based, best-practice models provided for each of these areas can help health care professionals plan for and respond to public health emergencies. Of interest to planners preparing for pandemic flu is a practical application for care of infectious victims.

 Go to: to download the report.

Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory (EPRI)—Second Generation

This Web-based tool allows local or regional planners to compile an inventory of resources needed to respond to emergencies and to determine what resources are available during an emergency.

 Go to: to download the tool and its components.

Health Emergency Assistance Line and Triage Hub (HEALTH)

This resource helps planners determine requirements and resources needed to develop an emergency contact center and prepare for potential surges in patient demand on the health care delivery system. The accompanying Contact Center Assessment Tool Set calculates the number of people who may try to reach a public health agency during an emergency.

 Go to: for this report and tool.

Mass Medical Care with Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide

This guide provides planners at all levels with information on planning for and responding to a mass casualty event. Experts provide information on prehospital care, hospital and acute care, alternative care sites, palliative care, ethical issues, and legal considerations.  The guide includes a flu pandemic case study.

 Go to: to download this guide.

National Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters (HAvBED) System

This prototype for a national hospital-bed tracking system will help the Government address a patient surge during a flu pandemic or other emergency.  Among its features are recommended national hospital bed definitions.

 Go to: for the definitions.

Reopening Shuttered Hospitals to Expand Surge Capacity

This comprehensive guide helps planners determine in advance of a pandemic or other public health emergency whether any local shuttered hospitals can be used to increase surge capacity.  The report is accompanied by a Surge Toolkit and Facilities Checklist for planning and site inspection.

 Go to:

Rocky Mountain Regional Care Model for Bioterrorist Events-Locate Alternate Care Sites During an Emergency

This resource and its accompanying tool, the Alternate Medical Care Selection Matrix, helps State and local officials quickly locate alternate health care sites if hospitals are overwhelmed because of a bioterrorism attack or other public health emergency.

 Go to:  for the report and tool.

More Information

For more AHRQ emergency preparedness resources, go to:

For information from the U.S. Government on pandemic flu, go to:

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Current as of May 2011


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


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