New Checklist Helps Home Health Care Providers Prepare For An Influenza Pandemic
Recognizing that home health care providers will play an important role in caring for the sick during an influenza pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a checklist to help these organizations assess their readiness to respond.
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt released the guide at a Pandemic Planning Summit in South Carolina. The summits are being held in conjunction with state and local officials in every state over the next few months.
"Home health care providers will provide critical services during an influenza pandemic," Secretary Leavitt said. "Their ability to care for people at home and help reduce stresses on overburdened hospitals will be a key element in effectively dealing with a pandemic. Identifying strengths and weaknesses in their organizations now and building community contacts in advance will provide a strategic advantage if a pandemic influenza strikes."
While the checklist was designed with a pandemic influenza in mind, it could be helpful in other types of emergencies. Suggestions include:
Both the summits and the release of checklists build on the Administration's overall planning to increase pandemic preparedness. President Bush outlined a coordinated government strategy that includes the establishment of the new International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, stockpiling of vaccines and antiviral medications, expansion of early-warning systems domestically and abroad and new funding and initiatives for local and state level preparedness. The first round of funding, $100 million, has been released to states for local preparedness. A copy of the “Home Health Care Services Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist,” along with other checklists and pandemic planning information is available at www.pandemicflu.gov.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Last revised: March 3, 2006