Clinical Resources

Reports and Guidance

  • Altered Standards of Care in Mass Casualty Events
    This AHRQ report is a summary of findings that emerged from experts’ discussion of the provision of health and medical care in a mass casualty event. It also includes recommendations for action that could be undertaken to support planning an effective response to a mass casualty event.
  • Communicating with the Hearing Impaired during an Emergency
    The American with Disabilities Act Business Brief outlines guidance regarding communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing in hospital settings during a public health emergency.
  • Definitive Care for the Critically Ill During a Disaster (Critical Care Collaborative)
    This series of articles, written by the Task Force on Mass Critical Care provides recommendations for medical equipment, concepts to expand treatment spaces, and staffing models to prepare for emergency mass critical care. These consensus suggestions were derived from published clinical practice guidelines and medical resource utilization data for the everyday critical care conditions anticipated to predominate during mass critical care events.
  • IOM Crisis Standards of Care Report
    This report developed by the Board on Health Sciences and Policy and the Institute of Medicine focuses on articulating current concepts and guidance that can assist state and local public health officials, healthcare facilities, and professionals in the development of systematic and comprehensive policies and protocols for crisis standards of care in disasters where resources are scarce.
  • Surge Hospitals: Providing Safe Care in Emergencies
    This Joint Commission guide provides information to healthcare planners at the community, state, and federal level on definitions of surge hospitals, the kind of planning they require, how they can be set up, and who should be responsible for their establishment and operation.


  • Optimizing Surge Capacity: Hospital Assessment and Planning
    This AHRQ issue brief discusses tools that can assist hospitals and other healthcare facilities with an assessment of their current capacity and develop a plan to achieve optimal surge capacity
  • Pediatric Disaster Toolkit: Hospital Guidelines for Pediatrics in Disasters
    This tool developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provide hospitals, especially those that do not normally admit children and for hospitals that do admit children but do not have pediatric intensive care services, with useful planning strategies and tools for providing protection, treatment, and acute care for pediatric patients during a disaster.
  • Reopening Shuttered Hospitals to Expand Surge Capacity
    AHRQ has provided this tool to help public health officials, and hospital and health facility staff determine in advance how to best choose and use a formerly closed hospital or health facility to care for patients.
  • Surge Capacity: Facilities and Equipment
    AHRQ designed this tool to help state, local, and health system policymakers explore key issues, research findings, and strategies for the use of facilities and equipment to enhance hospital surge capacity.

Other Resources