Performing a gap analysis and conducting interviews with stakeholders who provide emergency services.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently working with the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) on a multiyear project to improve the state’s public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) systems. During one phase of the project, the DOH had a short time (4-6 months) in which to gather information and create a gap analysis and remediation plans for the PHEP systems. Three areas were chosen for the gap analysis: disease outbreak, major physical catastrophe, and major environmental catastrophe. In each of the three areas, the DOH needed to upgrade its standards and procedures, and it would then be required to apply the same upgrades to the remaining event categories. The DOH hired RESPEC to perform the gap analysis, which required interviews with all stakeholders who provide emergency services in the above-mentioned areas.
Most of the interviewing process was subcontracted to a highly reliable company with whom RESPEC had previously partnered. The key element in these interviews was to facilitate communication with and among all emergency service providers. RESPEC and its subcontractor needed to determine the people who would need to be contacted in a major emergency as well as the public spokesperson for the emergency. One of RESPEC’s challenges was working within the budget constraints, which resulted in limited time for the interviews. From the information gathered by its subcontractor, RESPEC provided the DOH with the gap analysis and recommendations for meeting the CDC’s requirements in the areas studied and the areas outside of the study group.