BOX 1 Glossary of Key Terms

Distribution: The activity associated with the delivery of federal SNS assets from their original location to the state receiving, staging, and storing (RSS) warehouses, as well as from the RSS warehouses to dispensing sites, alternate care facilities, and regional distribution sites/nodes.

Dispensing: The activity associated with providing prophylaxis and other related medical materiel to an affected population in response to a threat or incident. This activity, which is conducted on the local level, is the final interface between provider and public.

Points of dispensing (PODs): Locations where medical countermeasures are dispensed to the affected population. PODs may be open; that is, they are public sites visited by the at-risk population who have been directed to report to that site to pick up medical countermeasures. PODs may be closed; that is, they dispense medications to a select or pre-defined population, not the general public. Closed PODs dispense countermeasures to identified staff, family members, patients, contacts, and/or specific groups outlined in the provider’s mass prophylaxis dispensing plan. Independent of a closed or open POD, a POD may also be “medical” or “nonmedical.” A medical POD would mostly be staffed by medical personnel, who would primarily be responsible for dispensing medication and conducting medical exams and triage procedures to determine whether cases are in the incubation stage or in need of hospitalization. In contrast, a nonmedical POD would be staffed by trained but nonmedical personnel, who would dispense medication and triage as appropriate, but would not conduct individualized medical assessments.

From: Workshop Definitions, Goals, and Objectives

Cover of Dispensing Medical Countermeasures for Public Health Emergencies
Dispensing Medical Countermeasures for Public Health Emergencies: Workshop Summary.
Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2008.
Copyright © 2008, National Academy of Sciences.

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