Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 7(1) November 2003 : 28-32.doi:10.12927/hcq..16473
Lessons From SARS

Defining the New Normal

Brian Orr


Throughout the extended SARS outbreak in the Greater Toronto Area, other healthcare organizations across Ontario also operated under the SARS directives that imposed significant changes to patient and operational practices. The SARS outbreak dramatically illustrated the critical need to transform healthcare organizations to a "new normal" state of operation to respond to the ease by which contagious diseases can spread globally.

The term "new normal" is now widely used but lacks a clear operationally based definition. The purpose of this article is to present a definition and a set of operational criteria that describe the capabilities necessary for acute care hospitals to remain functional during an outbreak of a virulent and highly contagious disease.



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