The project will increase the capacity of community hospitals in NH to effectively respond to a biological, chemical, nuclear or other incident that involves injuries and deaths. Events of September 11th and the anthrax cases that followed identified gaps in our ability to address new forms of terror and our ability to respond. Hospitals are the front-line for local public health and medical care for most NH residents in the event of biological, chemical or nuclear incident. The project will identify functions and roles in creating a statewide hospital emergency mutual aid network, create and implement a mutual aid network, identify and modify legal and regulatory barriers to preparedness and establish an on-going system to monitor and test the mutual aid network.
The grant will provide the expertise and leadership of a medical consultant to address the clinical dimensions of creating a statewide hospital emergency mutual aid network and accomplish this in a timely manner. The grant will assess current clinical elements of preparedness (e.g., triage protocols, quarantine and decontamination procedures, pharmaceutical inventories, clinical staffing capacity, etc.) and integrate these elements into a coordinated plan with 32 hospitals and the State, based on agreements defining specific roles and resources within the hospital emergency mutual aid network.