Chapter 3. Coordination and collaboration with interface units. Recommendations and standard operating procedures for intensive care unit and hospital preparations for an influenza epidemic or mass disaster

Intensive Care Med. 2010 Apr;36 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S21-31. doi: 10.1007/s00134-010-1762-3.


Purpose: To provide recommendations and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital preparations for an influenza pandemic or mass disaster with a specific focus on enhancing coordination and collaboration between the ICU and other key stakeholders.

Methods: Based on a literature review and expert opinion, a Delphi process was used to define the essential topics including coordination and collaboration.

Results: Key recommendations include: (1) establish an Incident Management System with Emergency Executive Control Groups at facility, local, regional/state or national levels to exercise authority and direction over resource use and communications; (2) develop a system of communication, coordination and collaboration between the ICU and key interface departments within the hospital; (3) identify key functions or processes requiring coordination and collaboration, the most important of these being manpower and resources utilization (surge capacity) and re-allocation of personnel, equipment and physical space; (4) develop processes to allow smooth inter-departmental patient transfers; (5) creating systems and guidelines is not sufficient, it is important to: (a) identify the roles and responsibilities of key individuals necessary for the implementation of the guidelines; (b) ensure that these individuals are adequately trained and prepared to perform their roles; (c) ensure adequate equipment to allow key coordination and collaboration activities; (d) ensure an adequate physical environment to allow staff to properly implement guidelines; (6) trigger events for determining a crisis should be defined.

Conclusions: Judicious planning and adoption of protocols for coordination and collaboration with interface units are necessary to optimize outcomes during a pandemic.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disaster Planning / standards
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Hospital Communication Systems / organization & administration
  • Hospital Communication Systems / standards
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / therapy*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Inservice Training / standards
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Intensive Care Units / standards
  • Interdepartmental Relations
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Needs Assessment
  • Regional Health Planning / methods
  • Regional Health Planning / organization & administration
  • Regional Health Planning / standards
  • Surge Capacity
  • Workforce