Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health
Augmenting the Disaster Healthcare Workforce
- Author(s): Iserson, Kenneth V.
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2020.4.47553
In disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to use all available resources to bolster our healthcare workforce. Many factors go into this process, including selecting the groups of professionals we will need, streamlining their licensing and credentialing processes, identifying appropriate roles for them, and supporting their health and well-being. The questions we must answer are these: How many staff will we need? How do we provide them with emergency licenses and credentials to practice? What interstate licensing compacts and registration systems exist to facilitate the process? What caveats are there to using retired healthcare professionals and healthcare students? How can we best avoid attrition among and increase the numbers of international medical graduates? Which non-clinical volunteers can we use and in what capacities? The answers to these questions will change as the crisis develops, although the earlier we address them, the smoother will be the process of using augmentees for the healthcare system.