Public Health Emergency Preparedness
This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.
This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.
Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.
Appendix A: Focus Group Moderator's Guide
Brief Project Overview: RTI is a leading non-profit research organization
located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. We have a contract with
the AHRQ to explore the role and special needs of nursing homes in planning
and response in the event of a disaster.
Review general rules of focus group operation and data capture:
- One person talks at a time, speaking clearly to facilitate note
- Using first names only.
- Facilitator will attempt to be sure everyone has
a chance to respond to all questions.
Privacy and confidentiality assurance.
Exempted from informed consent by RTI IRB; data only reported in the aggregate
without revealing the names of any focus group participants or their affiliated
Questions from participants?
1. Has your nursing home thought about the impact of
bioterrorism or other public health emergencies on your facility?
Probe: Has anyone from your facility been involved in any State/local bioterrorism
2. Has your facility done any planning or training
specifically for bioterrorism or other public health emergencies? Please
What about planning and training for natural/man-made disasters (e.g., fires,
floods)? Do you have a disaster plan? Do you do regular drills?
3. In the event of a terrorist
attack or other public health emergency, what are your principle concerns
regarding your facility and continued service for your residents? In other
words, do you have special needs that we should know about?
loss, sewer or power outage, natural gas leaks, food supplies, issues around
quarantine or needs of special patient populations (e.g., Alzheimer's).
Also, with respect to staffing, getting staff there and keeping them there
in light of their own personal family responsibilities.
4. What role, if any, do you envision your facility playing in disaster
response or recovery?
Probe: Augmented capacity for local hospitals (i.e.,
beds; converting to a quarantine facility); trained staff to assist with
local response such as giving vaccinations; gear and pharmaceutical supply
5. Would you be prepared to receive a rapid influx of transferred residents
back from acute care facilities in your area?
Note patient transfers usually
take many hours with lots of required paperwork; patients may be transferred
back at a higher level of acuity than would be the case normally; and there
are likely transport issues.
6. How long could your facility be self-sustaining
without external supply of water and food, medical supplies, pharmaceutical
therapeutics, electric power?
Probes: Do they have food/water stores? Are these mandated by the State?
Do they have a generator? Do they have back-up plans? Do they have experience
with natural disasters (earthquakes, fires, floods)?
7. How do State regulations
influence the ability of nursing homes to offer support and/or surge capacity
in the event of bioterrorism or other public health emergency?
Probes: If the governor of your State declared a state
of emergency, would you have concerns about bed licensure limits and/or nurse
8. Take a look at this survey and try to complete
it as best you can, marking those questions you know you would have an
answer for with a "Y" and
those you would not be able to answer even with more time with a "DK." Any
questions that you feel are not applicable, please mark "NA." Additional
comments or observations can be made directly on this copy.
9. What do we need to let State and Federal governments know about nursing
homes and their ability to function in a time of disaster?
10. Is there anything we haven't asked you about
that would be good for us to know as we attempt to explore the role and
special needs of nursing homes in preparedness planning?
Probe: Administrators from other States have mentioned the role of the
Red Cross. Would the Red Cross be a key resource for your facility in a
Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Section