Preparing for Disaster: Developing a Hospital Emergency Augmentation Team

Matters, Megan, Nursing Practice - School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Tullmann, Dorothy, School of Nursing, University of Virginia

A widespread variation exists within the United States on the best and most efficient way for hospitals to prepare for and respond to a hazardous materials mass casualty incident surge of patients. Current literature is limited, based on expert opinion, and supports a hospital based team to augment the emergency department as a safe practice for such events. Augmentation teams ensure patient safety together with timely and appropriate care. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the readiness of an academic medical center to establish an augmentation team in order to prepare for hazardous material mass casualty events. The project was a three-phase multi-method descriptive cross-sectional study: first phase evaluated the readiness and availability of staff with an electronic survey of approximately 14,000 employees; second, implemented and evaluated a training program; and third, described barriers and facilitators to team development. Nine hundred sixty-six employees completed the electronic survey. Of those respondents, 60% volunteered to join the augmentation team, representing a mix of clinical and ancillary roles including: technology services, acute care, administration, and critical care areas. The largest barrier to participation was scheduling/timing of training reported by 62.6% of respondents. Thirteen employees participated in the training; four were nurses and seven from primary clinical areas. The goal of this project was to initiate quality improvements of the current disaster operational plan. Projects such as this will assist healthcare professionals improve best practices with an improved understanding of the recruitment and engagement of a hospital disaster augmentation team.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
Hospital, Team, Decontamination, Emergency Service, Disaster Planning, Quality Improvement
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