School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

A Cross-Sectional Study of Emergency Preparedness in a Tertiary Care Pediatric Emergency Department

Poster Number

330

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Quality Improvement

Keywords

Disaster Preparedness, Evacuation, Quality Improvement, Pediatric Emergency Department

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the culture of emergency preparedness at a tertiary-care Pediatric Emergency Department and the perceived ability to respond to an emergency evacuation order.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey of emergency providers in an urban tertiary-care pediatric emergency department. A 20-question survey was distributed to providers after participating in a table-top simulation of an ED evacuation scenario. Participants were asked about prior training, importance of disaster training, and feelings toward personal and institutional emergency preparedness. Likert Scales were used to evaluate participants’ attitudes towards emergency preparedness training and self-evaluated preparedness. Participants were asked to respond to statements on a scale from 1-5 (Strongly Disagree-Strongly Agree). Median scores were reported.

Results: 51 ED providers were surveyed over a six-week period. 49% (25) of respondents reported working in the department for >5 years, while 31.4% (16) and 19.6% (10) responded 1-5 and less than 1 year, respectively. 41.2% (21) of respondents had participated in an emergency preparedness drill within the prior year, and 72.5 (37) had undergone prior disaster training. 11.8% (6) of respondents reported having participated in a live evacuation during their career.

The median response score for the statements “Disaster Preparedness is an important part of my continuing education” and “Disaster Preparedness improves my ability to treat patients during a disaster” were 5 and 5, respectively. The median score for “An Emergency Evacuation seems likely to occur in my workplace,” was 4, however the median for “the Emergency Department is adequately prepared to respond to an evacuation order” was 3.

The majority of respondents had not read the evacuation plan [78.4% (40)] and were unsure where to find it [60.8% (31)]. 49% (25) of respondents were confident in their role during an evacuation, and 41.2% (21) were confident in their unit’s level of emergency preparedness.

Conclusion: The goal of this study was to evaluate the emergency preparedness culture and the evacuation capability in a pediatric emergency department. The literature contains very little discussion about the opportunities or challenges unique to evacuating a pediatric emergency department. The results of our survey show that providers value the importance of disaster preparedness and training, particularly focused on evacuations. This value, however, did not correlate with confidence in evacuation preparedness. This lack of confidence in the context of an otherwise robust preparedness culture highlights an opportunity for future improvement. Future directions for this work would be to conduct this table top exercise and survey at different times of the year with variations in seasonal conditions. Considering the challenging environment of the ED, this table top and evaluation format could be a feasible model to implement for training in evacuations.

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Creative Commons License
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A Cross-Sectional Study of Emergency Preparedness in a Tertiary Care Pediatric Emergency Department

Objective: To evaluate the culture of emergency preparedness at a tertiary-care Pediatric Emergency Department and the perceived ability to respond to an emergency evacuation order.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey of emergency providers in an urban tertiary-care pediatric emergency department. A 20-question survey was distributed to providers after participating in a table-top simulation of an ED evacuation scenario. Participants were asked about prior training, importance of disaster training, and feelings toward personal and institutional emergency preparedness. Likert Scales were used to evaluate participants’ attitudes towards emergency preparedness training and self-evaluated preparedness. Participants were asked to respond to statements on a scale from 1-5 (Strongly Disagree-Strongly Agree). Median scores were reported.

Results: 51 ED providers were surveyed over a six-week period. 49% (25) of respondents reported working in the department for >5 years, while 31.4% (16) and 19.6% (10) responded 1-5 and less than 1 year, respectively. 41.2% (21) of respondents had participated in an emergency preparedness drill within the prior year, and 72.5 (37) had undergone prior disaster training. 11.8% (6) of respondents reported having participated in a live evacuation during their career.

The median response score for the statements “Disaster Preparedness is an important part of my continuing education” and “Disaster Preparedness improves my ability to treat patients during a disaster” were 5 and 5, respectively. The median score for “An Emergency Evacuation seems likely to occur in my workplace,” was 4, however the median for “the Emergency Department is adequately prepared to respond to an evacuation order” was 3.

The majority of respondents had not read the evacuation plan [78.4% (40)] and were unsure where to find it [60.8% (31)]. 49% (25) of respondents were confident in their role during an evacuation, and 41.2% (21) were confident in their unit’s level of emergency preparedness.

Conclusion: The goal of this study was to evaluate the emergency preparedness culture and the evacuation capability in a pediatric emergency department. The literature contains very little discussion about the opportunities or challenges unique to evacuating a pediatric emergency department. The results of our survey show that providers value the importance of disaster preparedness and training, particularly focused on evacuations. This value, however, did not correlate with confidence in evacuation preparedness. This lack of confidence in the context of an otherwise robust preparedness culture highlights an opportunity for future improvement. Future directions for this work would be to conduct this table top exercise and survey at different times of the year with variations in seasonal conditions. Considering the challenging environment of the ED, this table top and evaluation format could be a feasible model to implement for training in evacuations.