A NIMS-based approach provides a framework to establish an acute care center (ACC) for a bioterrorism event, but much of the information could easily be extrapolated to a pandemic situation. The materials describe a coordinated approach between local hospitals and acute care centers by including scenarios for which an ACC might be needed and defining the level of care provided outside of a hospital. For instance, the document limits ACCs to the provision of basic care, hydration, antibiotics, and possibly oxygen. The document also describes additional components of an effective and organized regional health care response.
The information on ACCs is practical, thorough, and action-oriented. It is an excellent planning tool that allows local response partners in the healthcare arena to collaborate, identify facilities and equipment, and determine necessary levels of staffing. One reviewer suggested that this approach will significantly advance a concept of operations for any local planning group, although it may be limited to jurisdictions that have health care workers who are available to staff ACCs during an emergency.