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    Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guide for Health Care Workers and Health Care Employers


    "...A substantial percentage of the world’s population
    will require some form of medical care.

    Healthcare facilities can be overwhelmed, creating
    a shortage of hospital staff, beds, ventilators and
    other supplies. Surge capacity at non-traditional
    sites such as schools may need to be created to
    cope with the demand.

    It is expected that such an event will quickly
    overwhelm the healthcare system locally, regionally,
    and nationally.4 An increased number of sick
    individuals will seek healthcare services. In addition,
    the number of healthcare workers available to
    respond to these increased demands will be
    reduced by illness rates similar to pandemic
    influenza attack rates affecting the rest of the population.

    Finally, healthcare workers and healthcare
    resources will also be expected to continue to meet
    non-pandemic associated healthcare needs.
    In order to mitigate the effects of an influenza
    pandemic on the healthcare community, it is important
    to identify healthcare providers and recognize
    the diversity of practice settings.

    • The delivery of healthcare services requires a
    broad range of employees, such as first
    responders, nurses, physicians, pharmacists,
    technicians and aides, building maintenance,
    security and administrative personnel, social
    workers, laboratory employees, food service,
    housekeeping, and mortuary personnel.
    Moreover, these employees can be found in a
    variety of workplace settings, including hospitals,
    chronic care facilities, outpatient clinics
    (e.g., medical and dental offices, schools, physical
    and rehabilitation therapy centers, health
    departments, occupational health clinics, and
    prisons), free-standing ambulatory care and
    surgical facilities, and emergency response settings.

    • The diversity among healthcare workers and
    their workplaces makes preparation and
    response to a pandemic influenza especially
    challenging. For example, not all employees in
    the same healthcare facility will have the same
    risk of acquiring influenza, not all individuals
    with the same job title will have the same risk
    of infection, and not all healthcare facilities will
    be at equal risk although all will be similarly
    susceptible. During an influenza pandemic,
    healthcare workers may be required to provide
    services in newly established healthcare facilities
    to accommodate patient overflow from traditional
    healthcare settings (e.g., convention
    centers, schools, and sports arenas).

    Consequently, the cornerstone of pandemic
    influenza preparedness and response is an
    assessment of risk and the development of
    effective policies and procedures tailored to
    the unique aspects of various healthcare settings...."