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Hospital Assessment and Recovery Guide

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.

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 It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work.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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About This Hospital Assessment and Recovery Guide

This guide is designed to help organize the initial assessment of a hospital upon return after an evacuation/closure due to an emergency event. The specific assessments are meant to be conducted by hospital staff to assess the level and locations of damage sustained by the hospital, and provide information that will be needed to create the full recovery plan. This guide will be particularly useful for assessing a hospital that has sustained significant or widespread damage.

Each hospital—and every emergency event causing an evacuation—will have unique circumstances. The purpose of this guide is to help organize the initial assessment of the hospital; it is not intended to be a complete "reoccupation" or recovery plan.

This guide assumes that before these assessments begin, the structural soundness of the buildings has been established and the buildings have been deemed safe for human presence (i.e., no chemical, biological, or radiological contamination; no dangerous cracks in supporting walls). Other issues that could pose safety hazards for the assessment teams must also be addressed before a full hospital assessment can take place. For example, the hospital oxygen system and natural gas feeds should be turned off in case there are leaks in those systems. (Please note: emergency events resulting in community wide radiological or chemical contamination are beyond the scope of this guide.)

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