Healthcare Surge

What Is Healthcare Surge?

Individual hospitals and healthcare institutions in our County periodically experience a surge in the number of patients they serve as a result of seasonal disease outbreaks, catastrophic accidents, wildfires and other natural and man-made disasters. While such increase in the number of patients over the normal may pose a significant burden, such increase is not considered healthcare surge.
A healthcare surge occurs when the healthcare delivery system in the county has been significantly impacted, resulting in an excess demand for care and services in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community care clinics, the public health department, primary and secondary care provider offices, and the emergency medical services system.

When Does Healthcare Surge Occur?

A healthcare surge may occur during a major natural disaster or pandemic, during war, or result from mass casualty events such as chemical, radiologic, or biological attack.

Who Proclaims A Healthcare Surge Event In San Bernardino County?

A healthcare surge is proclaimed in San Bernardino County by an authorized official, such as the health officer or other appropriate designee.
San Bernardino County Preparedness and Response Program is collaborating with local hospitals, long term care facilities and multiple stakeholders to develop a Healthcare Surge Capacity Plan that will prepare the County for a healthcare surge event as well as the challenges that may result.

Where Can I Find Additional Information On Healthcare Surge?

The California Department of Public Health has developed a six volume Standards and Guidelines for Healthcare Surge During Emergencies to help health departments and their communities prepare for healthcare surge.
For more information on healthcare surge or the Healthcare Surge Workgroup, you may contact the Preparedness and Response Program at (909) 252-4406.