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Enhancing Private Sector Health System Preparedness for 21st-Century Health ThreatsFoundational Principles From a National Academies Initiative

Educational Objective
Understand how to prepare the US health care system for 21st century threats-like COVID-19
1 Credit CME

Not since the threat of global nuclear war first emerged has humankind faced the risks of potential disasters at the scale that the 21st century now brings. Climate change, international terrorism, pandemics, and cyberwarfare are only some of the ways in which injury, morbidity, and mortality can spread rapidly to millions of people. Ebola, as tragic as it has been, is but a small example of what could occur if, for instance, a nuclear blast went off in New York, sea level surges flooded Florida, or the electric grid went down in a health emergency. The current coronavirus epidemic in China has created a major international public health threat, led to the full or partial quarantine of nearly 45 million people, and interrupted commerce in many cities.1

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Donald M. Berwick, MD, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), 53 State St, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 (donberwick@gmail.com).

Published Online: February 6, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1310

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article represent those of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily represent the position or recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

Additional Information: Drs Berwick and Shine served as cochairs of the NASEM initiative “Enhancing Private Sector Preparedness for 21st Century Health Threats.”

References
1.
Paules  CI, Marston  HD, Fauci  AS.  Coronavirus infections—more than just the common cold.  JAMA. 2020. Published online January 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0757PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Courtney  B, Toner  E, Waldhorn  R,  et al.  Healthcare coalitions: the new foundation for national healthcare preparedness and response for catastrophic health emergencies.  Biosecur Bioterror. 2009;7(2):153-163. PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Regional Healthcare Coordination Center. Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance. http://www.novaha.org/active-projects/regional-hospital-coordinating-center-rhcc1/. Accessed February 3, 2020.
4.
Emergency Response/WATrac. Northwest Healthcare Response Network. https://nwhrn.org/what-we-do/emergency-response/. Accessed February 3, 2020.
5.
Kadlec  R. ASPR’s new vision for a regional disaster health response system will help prepare nation for 21st century health security threats. https://www.phe.gov/ASPRBlog/pages/BlogArticlePage.aspx?PostID=300. February 2018. Accessed February 3, 2020.
6.
Ventola  CL.  The drug shortage crisis in the United States: causes, impact, and management strategies.  P T. 2011;36(11):740-757.PubMedGoogle Scholar
7.
Hospital Preparedness Program. US Dept of Health and Human Services. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/hpp/Pages/default.aspx. March 4, 2019. Accessed February 4, 2020.
8.
CMS-Approved Accrediting Organizations, Contacts for Prospective Clients. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Accrediting-Organization-Contacts-for-Prospective-Clients-.pdf. April 3, 2019. Accessed February 3, 2020.
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