Identifying Global Capacity for Acute Care:
InFACT seeks to characterize global capacity for acute care, and to create an electronically linked network of loci that can provide such care. Such a network will support collaboration in three vital areas:
- Public health and sentinel surveillance. Since the most severely ill patients in the contemporary health care system are managed within existing acute care settings, an electronic network will facilitate the identification of emerging novel infections, the definition of loss of capacity during disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and wars, and the identification of available capacity under the same circumstances. This information can rapidly inform planners and decision-makers to identify new threats and to optimally target available resources.
- Clinical research. A globally linked network cannot only support representative studies of global disease epidemiology and management, but can further serve to identify sites that can contribute to large studies, either observational or interventional.
- Education. At the same time, such a network can serve as the host for a broad-based, Wiki-style educational resource that can rapidly disseminate insights from ongoing clinical research. We will create such a platform as a resource in its own right, and as an enticement to participate in exercises that generate important new knowledge.
InFACT has led an international pilot study to define urban resource availability for severely ill patients
. This study will serve as a template for a broader and more inclusive understanding of global capacity for the provision of acute care. David Wallace at the University of Pittsburgh has launched a project called ACCESS MAPS that will aggregate information on the location and capacity of acute care services worldwide, drawing from both publicly available databases and crowd-sourced information, with the additional goal of assisting large-scale observational studies in mapping site locations.