What is ESAR-VHP?
The Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer registration programs for disasters and public health and medical emergencies.
The program, administered on the state level, verifies health professionals' identification and credentials so that they can respond more quickly when disaster strikes. By registering through ESAR-VHP, volunteers' identities, licenses, credentials, accreditations, and hospital privileges may be verified in advance, saving valuable time in emergency situations.
ESAR-VHP is administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Why do we need ESAR-VHP?
In the wake of disasters and public health and medical emergencies, many of our communities and nation's health professionals are eager and willing to volunteer their services. In these times of crisis; hospitals, clinics, and temporary shelters are dependent upon the services of volunteers. Utilizing volunteers' time and capabilities in the most efficient manor presents major challenges to hospital, public health, and emergency response officials. Authorities must be able to distinguish those who were qualified from those who are not.
Michigan's ESAR-VHP program, the MI Volunteer Registry, aims to provide hospitals, public health, and emergency authorities access to personnel that may be needed during an emergency. Having pre-verified information on volunteers' licensure status, medical credentials, and criminal history helps with augmenting facilities' emergency personnel needs in an event.
For more information on national ESAR-VHP program, please visit http://www.phe.gov/esarvhp/Pages/default.aspx.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Emergency, ESAR-VHP website located at http://www.phe.gov/esarvhp/Pages/default.aspx on April 1, 2011.