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Defining and operationalizing disaster preparedness in hospitals: a systematic literature review.

Verheul, M.L.M.I., Dückers, M.L.A. Defining and operationalizing disaster preparedness in hospitals: a systematic literature review. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine: 2020, 35(1), 61-68
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Introduction
Societies invest substantial amounts of resources on disaster preparedness of hospitals. However, the concept is not clearly defined nor operationalized in the international literature.

Aim
This review aims to systematically assess definitions and operationalizations of disaster preparedness in hospitals, and to develop an all-encompassing model, incorporating different perspectives on the subject.

Methods
A systematic search was conducted in five databases: Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, Disaster Information Management Research Centre, and SafetyLit. Peer-reviewed articles containing definitions and operationalizations of disaster preparedness in hospitals were included. Articles published in languages other than English, or without available full-text, were excluded, as were articles on prehospital care. The findings from literature were used to build a model for hospital disaster preparedness.

Results
In the included publications, 13 unique definitions of disaster preparedness in hospitals and 22 different operationalizations of the concept were found. Although the definitions differed in emphasis and width, they also reflected similar elements. Based on an analysis of the operationalizations, nine different components could be identified that generally were not studied in relation to each other. Moreover, publications primarily focused on structure and process aspects of disaster preparedness. The aim of preparedness was described in seven articles.