The recent SHEA/CDC Outbreak Response Training Program (ORTP) expert guidance document provides recommendations and resources needed for healthcare epidemiologists to prepare for and respond to facility and emerging pathogen outbreaks. The guidance provides reviews relevant areas of incident management and details the likely responsibilities of the epidemiologist, including:

  • Incident management frameworks, structures, and terminology from the federal to the institutional level
  • The likely role of the healthcare epidemiologist in the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS)
  • Relevant legal, ethical, and regulatory considerations
  • The healthcare epidemiologist’s role in internal and external communications
  • Contacts, positions, roles, and stakeholders important to the healthcare epidemiologist for incident management
  • Considerations for pediatrics
  • Recommendations for handling transfers to long-term care
  • Preparedness and response in settings with limited resources The guidance also provides diagrams, tables, and a list of resources.

Its recommendations were written to apply to a range of outbreak scenarios hospitals may face.

In addition to the expert guidance, there are online educational modules and tools available all AT NO COST.  Visit ortp.shea-online.org for more information and to take advantage of these modules.