Evidence-based support for the all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness
During the last decade there has been a need to respond and recover from various types of emergencies including mass casualty events (MCEs), mass toxicological/chemical events (MTEs), and biological events (pandemics and bio-terror agents). Effective emergency preparedness is more likely to be achieved if an all-hazards response plan is adopted.
To investigate if there is a relationship among hospitals' preparedness for various emergency scenarios, and whether components of one emergency scenario correlate with preparedness for other emergency scenarios.
Emergency preparedness levels of all acute-care hospitals for MCEs, MTEs, and biological events were evaluated, utilizing a structured evaluation tool based on measurable parameters. Evaluations were made by professional experts in two phases: evaluation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) followed by a site visit. Relationships among total preparedness and different components' scores for various types of emergencies were analyzed.
Significant relationships were found among preparedness for different emergencies. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for biological events correlated with preparedness for all investigated emergency scenarios. Strong correlations were found between training and drills with preparedness for all investigated emergency scenarios.
Fundamental critical building blocks such as SOPs, training, and drill programs improve preparedness for different emergencies including MCEs, MTEs, and biological events, more than other building blocks, such as equipment or knowledge of personnel. SOPs are especially important in unfamiliar emergency scenarios. The findings support the adoption of an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness.
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- Evidence-based support for the all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness
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- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Israel Journal of Health Policy Research
- Online Date
- October 2012
- Online ISSN
- BioMed Central
- Additional Links
- Emergency preparedness
- All-hazards approach
- Mass casualty events
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Emergency and Disaster Management Division, Ministry of Health, Tel Aviv, Israel
- 2. PREPARED research center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
- 3. Department of Emergency Medicine, Leon and Mathilda Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
- 4. PREPARED Research Center and the Department of Emergency Medicine, The Leon and Mathilda Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O.B 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel