Study: Hospitals better prepared for disasters

U.S. hospitals are significantly better prepared for disasters and public health emergencies now than they were seven years ago, according to an evaluation released today by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP).

 

According to the study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, hospitals have improved since the program began in 2002 in several areas identified by HHS as important to disaster and emergency preparedness. These areas include engaging senior leadership in disaster planning, appointing hospital disaster coordinators, conducting emergency operations planning, and training and stockpiling equipment and supplies.

Key Findings:

  • Disaster preparedness of individual hospitals has improved significantly throughout the country since the start of the HPP.
  • The emergence of Healthcare Coalitions is creating a foundation for U.S. healthcare preparedness.
  • Healthcare planning for catastrophic emergencies is in early stages; progress will require additional assistance and direction at the national level.
  • Surge capacity and capability goals, assessment of training, and analysis of performance during actual events and realistic exercises are the most useful indicators for measuring preparedness.

Click here for the Press Release.

 

(SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://hhs.gov, accessed April 24, 2009; AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, April 23, 2009)