Current Project Highlights

I. Overarching Preparedness Issues

These projects touch on overarching preparedness issues. In general, these projects seek to provide a greater understanding of the landscape in public health emergency preparedness and provide analyses that inform and guide policy makers in formulating and implementing public health emergency preparedness policies.

Defining Public Health Systems and Preparedness

In 2007, RAND convened an expert panel to develop a clear and widely applicable definition of public health emergency preparedness that can provide common terms for discussion and establish a basis on which to develop a small core of critical standards and measures.

Developing a Research Agenda for Local and State Preparedness

This project developed a clear, feasible, and operational strategy for ensuring the development of a public health emergency preparedness evidence base at an accelerated pace.

II. Exercises, Tools, and Drills

These projects focus on developing tools and resources that can be used to improve public health emergency preparedness planning and response. Most of the tools are designed for use by state and local public health agencies, however, there are several aimed at Federal-level and international organizations.

Pandemic Influenza Tabletop Exercise

RAND developed a fully customizable template for a tabletop exercise for pandemic influenza preparedness that can be used by state and local health agencies and their healthcare and governmental partners as an exercise in training, in building relationships, and in evaluation.

GIS Tool for Mapping Vulnerable Populations

RAND are developing an interactive web-based geographic information system (GIS) tool that will aid state and local communities in identifying and locating vulnerable populations in their jurisdiction. The tool is designed to enhance the community's ability to address the needs of vulnerable populations in its public health emergency planning and response activities.

III. Quality Improvement and Measurement

These projects focus on the use of quality improvement approaches and performance measure development for public health emergency preparedness. These projects seek to provide both a set of strategies that state and local public health agencies can use to improve their response capabilities and a method for gauging progress toward the ultimate goal of public health emergency preparedness.

Quality Improvement Toolkit

RAND developed an easy to use quality improvement toolkit that includes strategies, tips and resources designed to assist state and local public health professionals in applying a quality improvement (QI) approach to their emergency preparedness activities, particularly for pandemic influenza preparedness.

Develop Capability-Based Performance Measures for Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This project entails working with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Division of State and Local Readiness and other key stakeholders in developing a standardized and robust set of capability-based performance measures of state and local public health emergency preparedness.

IV. Lessons Learned and Promising Practices

These projects focus on the identification and dissemination of both lessons learned from real experiences and promising strategies that can inform planning efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. The purpose of these projects is to improve the sharing of knowledge across jurisdictions so that successes can be emulated and mistakes are not duplicated.

Lessons Learned for Bioterrorism Preparedness

RAND assessed the response of state and local health departments to the 1999 to 2003 outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), monkeypox, West Nile virus, and hepatitis A to gain insight into challenges that might also be presented by a bioterrorist attack.

Successful Models for Addressing the Needs of Vulnerable Populations

This project identified successful strategies used by localities to incorporate and address the needs of vulnerable populations into public health preparedness planning.

V. Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

Mass Antibiotic Distribution Standards

In support of the Cities Readiness Initiative, RAND developed a set of minimal standards for timely mass antibiotic distribution in response to a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency.

Evaluation of Cities Readiness Initiative

An evaluation of the CDC's Cities Readiness program (intended to increase large cities' ability to dispense prophylactic antibiotics to all residents within 48 hours) to determine whether it should be continued.