The Express
December 2019

As we close out another year, we extend our thanks to those of you who serve this nation’s communities so selflessly. We know our ASPR TRACIE stakeholders dedicate themselves to our safety and health, and we are honored to help share your resources and experiences. We also know that flu season may be affecting many of your communities, and we invite you to review these related resources:

As always, please reach out to us if you need technical assistance or have an article or experience to share.


In this issue of The Express, we highlight an upcoming webinar, new and updated resources, and news from our three domains.

Register Today: Healthcare Challenges in Chemical Incidents

Recent incidents in the U.S. and abroad have highlighted the need to plan for accidents involving chemicals and emerging chemical threats (e.g., fourth generation agents). Issue 9 of The Exchange focused on planning, response, and lessons learned specific to chemical incidents. Due to the growing interest in this topic area, ASPR TRACIE is pleased to host a webinar to further expand on those articles. Panelists will discuss the potential effects of a chemical incident and share recent guidance and lessons learned in assessing, triaging, and treating patients, including considerations for novel nerve agent treatment. The webinar will take place Tuesday, January 14, from 1:30 PM-3:00 PM ET. Register today!


We encourage you to be on the lookout for messages from ASPR TRACIE on additional upcoming webinars in early 2020. One webinar will cover the development of the healthcare coalition (HCC) Pediatric Surge Annex and we will also host a joint webinar with the National Ebola Training and Education Center on new highly pathogenic infectious disease training and exercise resources.

New: Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) Natural Disasters Activation 2018

This document provides a summary of the EPAP data collected and analyzed for the following natural disasters that occurred in 2018:

  • Hurricanes Irma and Maria, U.S. Virgin Islands (January-August 2018)
  • Hurricane Michael, Florida (November-December 2018)
  • Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu, Mariana Islands (November 2018-January 2019)
  • California Wildfires (December 2018-January 2019)
Updated: CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Resource Page  
The CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule was affected by the Omnibus Burden Reduction Final Rule. Check out our recently updated facility-specific requirement overviews that reflect these changes today!   
Updated: HCC Surge Estimator Tool- Hospital Data Collection Form & Aggregator  

ASPR TRACIE developed the HCC Surge Estimator Tool for nationwide use, after first piloting it with six regions across the country in the fall of 2018. Since its release in July 2019, we have received several questions about the restrictions that were placed on the data for Average Daily Occupancy on the hospital data collection form. Upon review, we have altered the tool to remove those limits and also to ensure you must enter a number for Average Daily Occupancy. This change allows high occupancy/high acuity hospitals to accurately enter their average daily census data while also permitting small hospitals (especially critical access hospitals) to accurately calculate their coalition surge capacity—an important contributor during a pandemic or regional patient redistribution situation. 


Updated versions of the HCC Surge Capacity Estimator Tool: Hospital Data Collection Form and Aggregator Tool are now available. Adjusting this variable on the hospital data collection form necessitated an update to the aggregator tool; we updated and re-released both tools. All coalitions need to use the updated versions. If you have not started yet, please download the updated tools. If you have already completed the data collection using the old tools, please reach out to the ASPR TRACIE Assistance Center for help converting your existing tools into the new format. We believe these changes will make the surge estimates as accurate and meaningful as possible to coalitions.

Domain Updates
Technical Resources Icon Technical Resources
We continue working with our Subject Matter Expert Cadre to refresh our 57 comprehensively developed Topic Collections. We most recently refreshed the Virtual Medical Care Collection. Learn more about rating, commenting on, and saving resources in this short tutorial.
Assistance Center Icon Assistance Center
The Assistance Center has processed nearly 5,300 technical assistance (TA) requests from a variety of stakeholders. We have responded to TA requests for engaging community leaders in emergency preparedness planning, code grey hospital/healthcare facility exercise, laws for physician assistants practicing in a disaster, incident command roles and responsibilities, resources for entry-level training for hospital emergency management coordinators, and use of door blocks or other barriers during an active shooter event. Check out our summary of TA responses, and please reach out if you need assistance.
Information Exchange Icon Information Exchange
More than 6,700 of your colleagues use the Information Exchange (IE)—do you? Register now to join the conversation and learn more about setting up private topic areas. Need help navigating the IE? Check out this short how-to video.
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