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Reopening Shuttered Hospitals to Expand Surge Capacity

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.

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Table 3. Summary of Expected Supplies and Equipment at Partially Shuttered Hospitals

  Item/Issue Typical Status at Partially Shuttered Hospital Additional Needs for Surge Use
Patient Care Areas Beds Very few beds available. Beds would need to be procured, including hospital beds or standard beds, cots or other reasonable approximations.
Bed Linens No stock of bed linens in facilities. Linens would need to be brought in—three sets per patient per 24 hours.
Patient Call Buttons Patient call buttons may or may not be available/operational. Bells or buzzers could be given to each patient.
Bathrooms Many patient rooms have bathrooms. Minor fixtures such as showerheads may be needed in some bathrooms.
Storage Some patient rooms have built-in shelving or closet space. Each patient would need a small patient bin filled with personal supplies.
Privacy Most hospital rooms lack window shades and doors. Curtains could be hung on doorframes or doors could be reattached.
Nurses Stations Nursing Station Some stations have wiring for computers and telephone hook-ups. Each nursing station would need telephones, computers, office supplies, and chairs.
Galley Kitchens May have operating kitchen on several floors. Ice machine would need to be cleaned and serviced, or ice could be delivered to the floors from a central ice supply.
Utility Closet Most closets were stripped of shelving. Each floor would need supply carts and portable shelving units.
Clean and Soiled Linen No operating system for clean and soiled linen. Large rolling carts can deliver clean linens and remove soiled linens.
Ancillary Medical Service Areas Laboratories Laboratories not operational. Employ a courier service and contract with private laboratory testing companies.
Pharmacy No current stock of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals would need to be brought in.
Support Service Areas Laundry Facilities Linens and disposable supplies are not available. Use laundry vendors.
Biohazard and Waste Disposal No current mechanism to dispose waste. 6-7 large trash cans, a trash can in every patient room, 4-5 biohazard containers per floor, a hazardous materials container remover, and hazardous materials trailer.
Receiving Loading docks available for receiving supplies. Loading dock would need one pallet jack, 3 flatbed delivery carts, and bins to hold items.
Water Supply Facility has water-holding tanks. Need enough capacity to supply 5 gallons per patient per day. May need additional water or bottled water.
Informational Technology and Communications Some communications equipment may be available. Equipment would be needed at nurses' stations, at a minimum.
Morgue Morgues may be available but have limited capacity. Refrigeration units would need to be available/improved, perhaps through the use of rented trucks.
Cafeteria Cafeteria operating. Some equipment may need thorough cleaning and recertification. Disposable dining supplies for 200-300 patients and staff; food supplies would need to be brought in.
Miscellaneous Areas Visitors/Waiting/Lobby Area Limited furniture remains. If needed, furniture would need to be procured.
Intake/Administration Areas Sufficient space for intake. Chairs, technology, and supplies would need to be brought in or moved from other sections of facility.

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