Study: All-hazards training could improve emergency preparedness

A study conducted by Tel Aviv, Israel-based scientists found a strong connection between preparedness procedures for different types of emergencies after they evaluated emergency procedures in multiple local hospitals.

The research team set out to determine whether or not there was a correlation between the preparedness of hospitals for multiple emergency scenarios. If components of particular emergency scenarios overlapped, the researchers hypothesized that standard operating procedures could be altered to handle mass casualty events, mass toxicological/chemical events and biological events.

"Emergency preparedness levels of all acute-care hospitals for MCEs, MTEs, and biological events were evaluated, utilizing a structured evaluation tool based on measurable parameters," the report said. "Evaluations were made by professional experts in two phases: evaluation of standard operating procedures followed by a site visit. Relationships among total preparedness and different components' scores for various types of emergencies were analyzed."

The researchers found that significant relationships were present for different emergencies and that standard operating procedures for biological events correlated with preparedness for other emergency scenarios. Training systems and drills for all the emergency scenarios included significant overlapping.

The team concluded that drills, standard operating procedures and training programs are more important in handling unfamiliar emergency scenarios than knowledge of personnel or equipment. The researchers concluded that an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness should be adopted to handle biological events, MCEs and MTEs.