National Reference Laboratory Surge Capacity Response to a Massive Nationwide Measles Outbreak in 2013-2014
Keywords:measles, outbreak, surge capacity, outbreak response, incident command system, laboratory management
This management case documents the experience of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) National Reference Laboratory, when a massive nationwide outbreak of Measles occurred during the last quarter of 2013 to the whole of 2014. This was the largest infectious disease outbreak referred thus far to the Institute, with an unprecedented 40,000 blood specimens from all over the country received by the laboratory, overwhelming its testing capacity, and causing large backlogs. The incident revealed significant gaps in the laboratory’s preparedness to respond to a sudden large surge of specimens.
The activation of a department-level Incident Command System was the most appropriate management approach to implement due to the urgency and scale of the surge of specimens. The response to the specimen surge was prioritized leading to temporary rearrangements in the organizational structure of the department in order to effectively and rapidly coordinate the staff and allocate resources.
2. Emergency Management and the Incident Command System – PHE (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/mscc/handbook/ chapter1/Pages /emergencymanagement.aspx.
3. Incident Command System Resources | FEMA.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from https://www.fema.gov/incident-command-system-resources.
4. Bochenek R, Kristjanson E, Schwartz B. (n.d.). Incident Management System (IMS) in the public health response: from SARS to pandemic H1N1, 41.
5. Bruno T (n.d.). Using Incident Command System in Foodborne Outbreak Response, 42.
6. APHL. What is a public health laboratory? 2012. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/52548635.
7. The role of the public health laboratory and the definition of public health laboratory services (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2018, from https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/08/14/15/the-role-of-the-public-health-laboratory-and-the-definition-of-public-health-laboratory-services.
8. Ylade MC. Epidemiology of measles in the Philippines. 2018;52(4):380-9.
9. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Wikipedia. 2018. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Volatility,_uncertainty,_ complexity_and_ambiguity&oldid=868117588.
How to Cite
The Philippine Journal of Pathology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on works made open access at http://philippinejournalofpathology.org