A public engagement process was used by Seattle & King County to engage King County residents and community leaders in a conversation surrounding their values and priorities regarding the delivery of medical services and how those services will be allocated during a severe pandemic influenza. The Public Engagement Project on Medical Service Prioritization During Influenza Pandemic began in September 2008 and was supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The project sought input from a total of 153 participants over 4 public engagement forums (See more in the Questions section). Participants were from diverse groups in the community as well as, vested stakeholders (read more in the Recruitment section). Participants were asked to think through the difficult decisions that would need to be made by medical professionals during a disaster (read more in the Structuring Meetings section). Participants discussed among peers the priorities for the rationing of scarce resources and provided recommendations and insight on how these decisions should be made prior to an emergency such as a severe pandemic influenza.
The goals of the Public Engagement Project on Medical Service Prioritization During Influenza Pandemic were to:
- Obtain feedback and recommendations from the community regarding the prioritization of medical services during a severe pandemic, and how those services will be allocated.
- Explicitly define the community’s values underlying the above recommendations.
- Ensure the incorporation of community values and priorities into regional planning for delivery of health and medical services during a severe pandemic.