Quality indicators to self-assess the level of disaster preparedness.

Spijkers, K.F.J., Slottje, P., Yzermans, C.J. Quality indicators to self-assess the level of disaster preparedness. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine: 2007, 22(Suppl. 1) s98. Abstract. 15th World Congress for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, 13-16 mei 2007, Amsterdam.
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Introduction: It impossible to predict when or where a disaster will happen next, or what its cause will be. This presentation describes an instrument that was developed to allow hospitals to self-assess their level of disaster preparedness and to prioritize areas for improvement for future disaster response. Methods: An instrument of quality indicators of preparedness was developed from a telephone survey (n = 134) and seven focus group discussions with experts in emergency and disaster management.The resulted initial long list of quality indicators of preparedness was then consolidated and organized by consulting experts and representatives of umbrella organizations.
The resulting indicators comprised two of the three quality dimensions as defined by Donabedian:
1. Structure—Human and material resources, procedures; and 2. Process—Education, training, practice, and cooperation within the hospital and with other disciplines. The quality indicators were evaluated as to their content validity, and usefulness in a 19-hospital pilot study conducted in the fall of 2006 in the Netherlands. Results: The pilot test resulted in further improvements of the instrument. Most of the participants acknowledged the usefulness of the instrument for self-assessment of their current level of disaster preparedness. It also was determined to be useful for prioritizing areas for improvement. Respondents supported repeated use of the instrument to assess any progress in preparedness levels. Conclusions: The current instrument consists mainly of generic quality indicators of preparedness. The instrument could be extended and modified to assess specific indicators disaster preparedness. (aut. ref.)