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Disaster Planning Drills and Readiness Assessment

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Slide Presentation by Howard W. Levitin, M.D., and Sue Skidmore

On April 15, 2003, Howard W. Levitin, M.D., and Sue Skidmore made a presentation in the Web-assisted Audioconference entitled Emergency Planning and Preparedness.

The is the text version of Dr. Levitin and Ms. Skidmore's slide presentation. Select to access the PowerPoint® slides (2.4 MB).

Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Howard W. Levitin, M.D., FACEP
Emergency Physician and Consultant
Disaster Planning International
Indianapolis, IN

Sue Skidmore, R.N., B.S.N., B.C.
Booz Allen Hamilton
McLean, VA

Slide 1

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Phase One Findings

  • Readiness efforts occurring independently.
  • No nationally accepted measures of preparedness.
    • Staffing.
    • Treatment capacity.
    • Stockpiling of resources.
    • Communications.
    • Security.
    • Mass Prophylaxis & vaccination.
    • Bed utilization.
    • Emergency department overcrowding.
    • Emergency medical services.
  • Administrative support is key to readiness.

Slide 2

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Phase Two

  • The first questionnaire was revised to include:
    • Issues related to regional health care facilities/systems bioterrorism preparedness.
    • Objective measures that users need to interpret the results of the questionnaire.
    • Best practices.

Slide 3

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Historically

  • No evidence that the data gathered predicts preparedness.
  • No established measures of bioterrorism preparedness.
  • No generally accepted scenario to base preparedness.
  • Most assessment tools have not been evaluated for validity.
  • Most assessment tools have not obtained national buy-in.

Slide 4

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Validity

  • Pooled 12 of the leading assessment tools.
  • Each question rated by expert panel on relevance/pertinence.
  • Working group reviewed all findings.
    • JCAHO.
    • MD Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
    • Inova Health System.
    • University of Texas.
    • DC Hospital Association.
    • Delaware Division of Public Health.
    • PA Department of Public Health.
    • IL Department of Public Health.
    • Vanderbilt University.
    • NJ Department of Health & Senior Services.
    • Baltimore City Health Department.
    • Battelle.
    • Booz Allen Hamilton.
    • Disaster Planning International.
    • University of Maryland.
    • University of West Virginia.
    • Emory University.
  • Utilized the expertise of the Myers Group– a national survey and market research firm.

Slide 5

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Design Criteria

  • Issues under the direct responsibility & control of hospital leadership.
  • Unique response requirements of a bioterrorism event only.
  • Regional issues that only involve hospital participation & roles.
  • Questions will be designed for benchmarking purposes.
  • Must be relevant to preparedness & capacity.
  • Each question must be tied to objective measures of readiness.

Slide 6

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Focus

  • Regional linkages.
  • Bioterrorism planning & structure.
  • Training & exercise.
  • Triage, diagnosis & treatment.
  • Infection control, decontamination & isolation.
  • Public health surveillance.
  • Surge capacity & space utilization.
  • Laboratory.
  • Pharmacy & mass immunization.
  • Safety & psych support.
  • Information systems.
  • Public relations.

Slide 7

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Questionnaire: Readiness

  • Standardize definitions of preparedness & capacity.
  • Peer-reviewed readiness milestones will be developed.
  • The ability to benchmark readiness & measure readiness progress.
  • Data gathered can be used to model readiness.
  • Developing a national standard creates allows for research.

Slide 8

For more information about the first phase of the AHRQ-sponsored project and a copy of the original questionnaire, "Bioterrorism Emergency Planning and Preparedness Questionnaire for Healthcare Facilities," please visit:

Current as of July 2003

Internet Citation:

Emergency Planning and Preparedness. Text Version of a Slide Presentation at a Web-assisted Audioconference. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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