The updated Capabilities include an increased or new focus on the following topics based on ASPR’s understanding of current challenges:
- Patient care coordination across the health care delivery system.
- Surge prevention to save lives given the recent study suggesting that 1 in 4 COVID-19 deaths was potentially attributed to hospitals with surging caseloads. The Capabilities look at surge through the lens of patient movement in particular, because of how critical patient movement can be to effectively manage strain across the care continuum.
- Medical considerations integrated into the Incident Command Structure (ICS) and facility-based ICS to support the prioritization of patient transfers and suggested coordination constructs like Medical Operations Coordination Centers (MOCCs) for patient movement solutions.
- Actions the health care delivery system can take to support the health care workforce and ensure resilience given burnout, moral distress, and workplace safety concerns among the health care workforce. The Capabilities provide objectives to augment health care workforce numbers to ensure adequate staffing across the spectrum of health care delivery; this is crucial to resilience of the workforce and continuity of patient care during a response.
- Prioritization of equity in all activities, with the goal of ensuring access to consistent levels of care, particularly in underserved and historically marginalized communities given structural inequities and the disproportionate impact experienced by communities of color and individuals with access and functional needs.
- Integration of community-based health care, public health, and social services into preparedness, response, and recovery activities to reduce burden on acute care, address equity, and ensure access to at-risk individuals and those with access and functional needs.
- Actions to address how to operate in the face of personal protective equipment (PPE), medication, and resource constraints, particularly in rural and frontier areas, given the intense strain on facilities across the nation due to supply chain difficulties and widespread shortages.