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Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $7 billion to enhance state and local preparedness for bioterrorism attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and other large-scale public health emergencies. A central component of this effort involves the ability to dispense antibiotics and other life-saving medical countermeasures to large populations under short timelines. This report presents recommended standards for points of dispensing (or PODs), locations where the public would receive life-saving antibiotics or other medical countermeasures during a large-scale public health emergency. The standards, which are designed to apply to widely divergent jurisdictions, rely on expert panel evaluations, current POD planning practices, and computer-modeled scenarios.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Approach to Standards Development

  • Chapter Three

    Recommended Standards on the Number and Location of PODs

  • Chapter Four

    Recommended Standards for Internal POD Operations

  • Chapter Five

    Recommended Standards for POD Staffing

  • Chapter Six

    Recommended Standards on POD Security

  • Chapter Seven

    Next Steps

  • Appendix A

    Instrument for Data Collection from CRI Sites

  • Appendix B

    List of Panelists

  • Appendix C

    Location Modeling and Analysis

  • Appendix D

    Modeling and Analysis of POD Operations and Staffing

This work was sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and was carried out within the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security. RAND Health is a division of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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