Readiness and Effectiveness of Disaster Preparedness Training in Hospitals

Introduction: Preparedness for natural and technological disasters is a fundamental obligation of hospitals. The health system, including hospitals and health professionals, plays an important role in the four stages of disaster management (prevention, preparedness, response, recovery). The implementation of preparedness exercises is a critical and necessary factor for increasing hospitals’ readiness.

Aim: The purpose of this narrative review is to evaluate general preparedness and the effectiveness of disaster preparedness training in hospitals.

Material and Method: A search for articles was conducted in Pubmed, Healthstar, EMBASE and Google Scholar for the years 1997-2019. The follow- ing keywords were used alone and in combination: "preparedness", "disasters", "crisis", "drills", "exercises", "readiness", "hospitals", "training". The inclusion criteria defined for the review were the following: a) studies published within the period 1997 to 2019, b) studies published in Greek and English, c) studies with access to the full text.

 Results: A first review of the literature initially identified a total of 174 studies, of which 26 were finally selected. The analysis of the studies found that most hospitals are not ready to manage disasters and that adequate resources must be secured in order to be able to take the right measures for disaster management. At the same time, it turned out that the readiness of a hospital presupposes a well-documented and tested disaster management plan, which the staff should be aware of and have implemented at least once in practice. There is a need for regular exercises during which various elements should be considered, such as coordination and decision making, communication and hospital information management both internally and externally and patient screening.

Conclusions: Disaster exercises have a great benefit for effective management of a disaster within the hospital area and significantly increase the staff’s knowledge. In conclusion, more resources must be devoted to the increasingly important area of hospital disaster preparedness.

Category: Volume 61, Issue 2
Hits: 8074 Hits
Created Date: 19-10-2022
Authors: Angeliki Bistaraki , Eleni Iliopoulou