Ready, willing, and able: a framework for improving the public health emergency preparedness system

TitleReady, willing, and able: a framework for improving the public health emergency preparedness system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMcCabe, OL, Barnett, DJ, Taylor, HG, Links, JM
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Pagination161 - 168
Date Published2010
ISBN Number1938-744X; 1935-7893
KeywordsCivil Defense/methods/organization & administration, Disaster Planning/methods/organization & administration, Humans, Public Health Administration, Public Health/methods, Quality Assurance, Health Care, United States

Every society is exposed periodically to catastrophes and public health emergencies that are broad in scale. Too often, these experiences reveal major deficits in the quality of emergency response. A critical barrier to achieving preparedness for high-quality, system-based emergency response is the absence of a universal framework and common language to guide the pursuit of that goal. We describe a simple but comprehensive framework to encourage a focused conversation to improve preparedness for the benefit of individuals, families, organizations, communities, and society as a whole. We propose that constructs associated with the well-known expression "ready, willing, and able" represent necessary and sufficient elements for a standardized approach to ensure high-quality emergency response across the disparate entities that make up the public health emergency preparedness system. The "ready, willing, and able" constructs are described and specific applications are offered to illustrate the broad applicability and heuristic value of the model. Finally, prospective steps are outlined for initiating and advancing a dialogue that may directly lead to or inform already existing efforts to develop quality standards, measures, guidance, and (potentially) a national accreditation program.


GR: 1P01TP000288/TP/COTPER CDC HHS/United States; GR: U90TP324236/TP/COTPER CDC HHS/United States; JID: 101297401; ppublish