At the request of the HHS, the IOM formed a committee in 2009, which developed guidance that health officials could use to establish and implement standards of care during disasters. In its first report, the committee defined “crisis standards of care” (CSC) as a state of being that indicates a substantial change in health care operations and the level of care that can be delivered in a public health emergency, justified by specific circumstances. During disasters, medical care must promote the use of limited resources to benefit the population as a whole.
In the 2012 report, the IOM examined the effect of its 2009 report, and develops vital templates to guide the efforts of professionals and organizations responsible for CSC planning and implementations. Integrated planning for a coordinated response by state and local governments, EMS, health care organizations, and health care providers in the community is critical to successfully responding to disasters. The report provides a foundation of underlying principles, steps needed to achieve implementation, and the pillars of the emergency response system, each separate and yet together upholding the jurisdictions that have the overarching authority for ensuring that CSC planning and response occurs.
In response to a 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) developed a Communities of Interest (COI) SharePoint site (i.e., a clearinghouse) to better disseminate information and manage documents; share promising practices and ideas; and provide a workspace where users from inside and outside HHS/ASPR can come together to share documents and ideas regarding the crisis standards of care (CSC) and allocation of scarce resources (ASR). HHS/ASPR uses the term “communities of interest” to describe and include all of the interested parties involved in CSC and ASR planning.