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Bioterrorism Preparedness Training and Assessment Exercises for Local Public Health Agencies

Bioterrorism Preparedness Training and Assessment Exercises for Local Public Health Agencies

David J. Dausey
Nicole Lurie
Alexis Diamond
Barbara Meade
Roger C. Molander
Karen Ricci
Michael A. Stoto
Jeffrey Wasserman
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 122
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  • Book Info
    Bioterrorism Preparedness Training and Assessment Exercises for Local Public Health Agencies
    Book Description:

    In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness contracted the RAND Corporation to develop and test tabletop exercises on early local public health agency (LPHA) responses to outbreaks caused by bioterrorism. RAND developed the exercises in this manual as templates that LPHAs can customize and use to train public health workers in detecting and responding to bioterrorism events and assessing LPHAs' levels of preparedness.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5998-7
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. iv-v)
  4. Table of Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Summary
    (pp. vii-viii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-ix)
  7. Acronyms
    (pp. x-x)
  8. Chapter One. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This manual contains templates for 10 tabletop exercises designed to assess the ability of local health departments¹ to detect and respond successfully to a bioterrorism (BT) attack, from the first hours through the first few days following a disease outbreak. Although these exercises specifically address BT preparedness, the basic public health challenges posed by naturally occurring and BT outbreaks are very much the same. Thus bioterrorism preparedness has “collateral benefits” for preparedness dealing with any disease outbreak—natural or intentional (Danzing, 1998). Therefore, these exercises should be helpful to health departments preparing for all types of disease outbreaks.

    The ten...

  9. Chapter Two. Planning an Exercise
    (pp. 5-9)

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that at least once per year, all health departments exercise and assess their ability to respond to bioterrorism outbreaks (CDC, 2004). This manual is designed to provide public health agencies with tools to conduct such exercises.

    The staff needed to conduct an exercise includes an organizer, facilitator, and note taker. The facilitator and the organizer may be the same person. However, the note taker should be a separate person; the facilitator will be too busy during the session to take notes.

    The exercise organizer is in charge of putting the entire...

  10. Chapter Three. Learning to Facilitate an Exercise
    (pp. 10-12)

    All the exercises outlined in this manual involve a facilitator whose job it is to do the following:

    Set up the exercise discussion with the initial situation report

    Introduce the case reports

    Answer participant’s questions

    Ensure that all participants actively take part in the exercise

    Provide participants with situation updates during the exercise

    If necessary, use “probes” to ensure that all key issues are discussed

    Keep the discussion moving at a reasonable pace within the various timeframes allotted for the individual steps in the exercise

    Help participants think through the final “hot wash” stocktaking session

    The facilitator could be the...

  11. Chapter Four. Conducting an Exercise
    (pp. 13-16)

    The exercises in this manual were designed to generate an open and candid discussion. There is no rigid structure for any exercise. Exercises do, however, follow the broad framework outlined in Figure 4.1.

    All exercises begin with an initial situation report. All exercises also have case reports (calls placed to the health department from healthcare workers who are reporting on a case or cases that they believe might have public health importance). After each case report, there is discussion regarding the actions the participants would take to address the case report. During the exercise, periodic situation updates provide participants with...

  12. Chapter Five. Using Exercises for Continuous Quality Improvement
    (pp. 17-18)

    There are only a few examples of performance measurement in local public health agencies (Dausey et al., forthcoming; Lurie et al., 2004, Reedy et al., 2005). This manual provides health departments with tools that can be used for training and assessment of public health preparedness, with the ultimate goal of improving public health preparedness through performance measurement. To achieve this goal, the exercise templates in this manual have been designed so that they can be regularly used as part of a system of continuous quality improvement (CQI). CQI is a term used to describe a comprehensive management philosophy, emphasizing the...

  13. Appendix A. Short Exercises
    (pp. 19-42)
  14. Appendix B. Medium Exercises
    (pp. 43-85)
  15. Appendix C. Long Exercise
    (pp. 86-105)
  16. Appendix D. Create-Your-Own Exercise
    (pp. 106-109)
  17. Appendix E. Frequently Asked Questions
    (pp. 110-111)
  18. References
    (pp. 112-112)