about the availability of cell phones during an event, so research may need to be conducted to determine how such a system could be developed to ensure it were operational during an event.
Despite the promise of preregistration and prescreening as a way to increase the efficiency of medical countermeasures dispensing in the case of an event, many important questions remain regarding the feasibility of this approach, including how to address privacy concerns as well as the technical challenges of creating, maintaining, and updating such a system.
Public–private partnerships can be used to ensure coverage of additional essential functions at PODs or alternative sites of delivery, the foremost being extra staffing, communication, health education, and security. If insufficient staff are available, private partners that specialize in these areas or temporary agencies may be able to assist by recruiting extra staff as needed. For example, one option that was highlighted by speakers was the possibility of using the knowledge and expertise of pharmacists to help screen and triage persons arriving at PODs. Another example of using existing resources, noted speaker Henry, is to harness a large range of public employees currently serving the public, such as first responders, firefighters, and other types of public employees, including the National Guard. In the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, many jurisdictions already mandate service by public employees in case of an emergency. In addition, individuals serving in the Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Teams may also be called upon to assist in these efforts. To describe the opportunities offered by temporary agencies, the workshop heard from Jonathan Means, senior vice president and general manager of central operations and businesses for Kelly Services. Temporary employment agencies have the expertise and systems to recruit staff within a short period of time and have the capacity to set up call centers, for example, to assist in the dissemination of important information.
However, although public–private partnerships offer a mechanism to strengthen capacity, many questions raised were left unanswered. For example, it was suggested that the POD model may require more than double the current public health staffing to implement, but is this an accurate estimate? Another question that remains unanswered is how re-