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Disasters and public health emergencies can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services. During such crises, hospitals and long-term care facilities may be without power; trained staff, ambulances, medical supplies, and beds could be in short supply; and alternate care facilities may need to be used. Planning for these situations is necessary to provide the best possible health care during a crisis.
The IOM’s reports on crisis standards of care contain key concepts, guidance, and practical resources to help actors across the emergency response system develop plans for crisis standards of care and response to a catastrophic disaster. The resources in report may be used by federal, state, and local governments; public health agencies; emergency medical services; emergency management and public safety agencies; hospitals; and out-of-hospital health care organizations and agencies. This report examines indicators and triggers that guide the implementation of crisis standards of care and provides a discussion toolkit to help stakeholders establish indicators and triggers for their own communities.