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New AHRQ Tool Helps Hospitals with Emergency Management Plans

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Press Release Date: May 20, 2004

A first-ever evidence-based tool to help hospitals evaluate their disaster training drills was announced today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The new resource, Evaluation of Hospital Disaster Drills: A Module-Based Approach, is designed to help hospitals identify strengths and weaknesses in their responses during a disaster drill and improve their ability to fulfill required emergency management plans. It is available from the Agency as a notebook with accompanying CD-ROM.

Developed by the AHRQ-sponsored Evidence-based Practice Center at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, the new tool is based on several key principles, including the need to plan drill objectives, to train observers, to document drill activities, and to debrief all participants. The tool's evaluation modules are designed to capture all phases of drill activities, such as pre-drill planning and recording activities in each area of the hospital including incident command, decontamination, triage and treatment. The tool also includes four supplemental forms to help institutions customize their drills to practice response to specific health threats such as a bioterrorism incident.

"This new tool will help hospitals and other frontline institutions focus on what works best under what circumstances for their particular institution," said AHRQ Director, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "We're very excited to be providing these evidence-based tools to help ensure that the American health care system can respond effectively and efficiently to public health emergencies."

The CD version of the modules includes a spreadsheet designed to help hospitals compile responses from the modules and compare data on topics such as how the hospital performs on repeated exercises, how different parts of the hospital perform on the same factors, or how different hospitals perform when participating in the same drill. The tool also includes detailed instructions on how to use the modules when planning and executing the evaluation of hospital disaster drills.

Evaluation of Hospital Disaster Drills: A Module-Based Approach is available on the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/research/hospdrills/hospdrill.htm.

The new training resource is one of over 50 studies, workshops, conferences and other activities funded under the Agency's bioterrorism research portfolio, which can be accessed online at http://www.archive.ahrq.gov/prep/. AHRQ sponsors research that provides the evidence base for tools and resources needed in bioterrorism planning and response.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1271 or (301) 427-1865.


 

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