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Disaster Alternate Care Facilities: Report and Interactive Tools

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 It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work.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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A public health emergency can strain the capacity of hospitals and other traditional venues for medical services. In such emergencies, it may be necessary to select alternate facilities for providing medical care. The report beginning below, and the related interactive computer tools, will help institutions and communities select alternate care facilities and determine which patients to send to them. The two new interactive tools are Disaster Alternate Care Facility Selection Tool and an ancillary tool, Alternate Care Facility Patient Selection Tool; both are available at

The report and tools provide help for community planners in:

  • Developing a "concept of operations" manual for a specific iteration of an ACF.
  • Determining staffing for an ACF.
  • Selecting hospital inpatients that might be eligible for transfer to an ACF.
  • Determining equipment and supplies necessary for an ACF, based on expert advice and the experiences of those who have operated ACFs.

Select for Print Version of the Report (PDF File, 2 MB). PDF Help.

Disaster Alternate Care Facilities: Selection and Operation

Prepared for:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD

Contract No. 290-20-0600-020

Prepared by:

Denver Health, Denver, CO


Stephen V. Cantrill, M.D., Principal Investigator
Peter T. Pons, M.D., Co-Principal Investigator
Carl J. Bonnett, M.D., Co-Principal Investigator
Sheri Eisert, Ph.D., Investigator
Susan Moore, M.S.P.H., Project Manager


Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Objectives
Chapter 2. Background
Chapter 3. Methods
   Literature Review
   Establishment of Advisory Panel
   Questionnaire Development and Administration
   Patient Selection Tool Development
Chapter 4. Results
   Questionnaire Results
   Alternate Care Facility Selection Tool
   Alternate Care Facility Operations Template
   Staffing Recommendations
   Patient Selection Tool
   Equipment and Supply Options

A. References and Available Abstracts
B. Advisory Panel Members
    B-1. Primary Advisory Panel
    B-2. Patient Selection Tool Panel
C. Alternate Care Facility Questionnaire
D. Alternate Care Facility Questionnaire Results

Disaster Alternate Care Facilities: Report and Interactive Tools was produced with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration and in collaboration with the Hospital Preparedness Program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The report was developed under an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) contract to Denver Health (Contract No. 290-20-0600-020).

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of AHRQ or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This document is in the public domain and may be used and reprinted without permission except those copyrighted materials noted for which further reproduction is prohibited without the specific permission of copyright holders.

AHRQ Publication No. 09-0062
Current as of October 2009

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


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