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2.
J Emerg Manag ; 21(2): 165-171, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232804

ABSTRACT

This study examined the results of an electronic survey of residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) in California in 2021 to provide insight on key elements of emergency plans and facility preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergencies. Surveys were distributed to RCFE administrators using publicly available emails found on the California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal. Responses from 150 facility administrators included data on their perception of current and future facility preparedness for COVID-19 and other emergency scenarios, items included in facility evacuation/shelter-in-place plans, and hazard vulnerability analyses and training practices of facility staff. Descriptive analyses were performed on collected data. The majority of results were from small facilities serving less than seven residents (70.7 percent). Prior to COVID-19, more than 90 percent of respondents included disaster drills, evacuation plans, and emergency transportation in their emergency preparedness plan. The majority of facilities added pandemic planning, vaccine distribution, and quarantine guidelines elements into their plans during COVID-19. Approximately half of facilities reported conducting proactive hazard vulnerability analyses. Around 75 percent of RCFEs felt well prepared for fires and infectious disease outbreaks, had mixed preparedness levels for earthquakes and floods, and felt least prepared for landslides and active shooter emergencies. During the pandemic, perceptions of preparedness rose, with 92 percent stating they felt very prepared currently and almost 70 percent felt very prepared for future pandemics. Preparedness of these essential facilities and their residents can continue to improve by conducting regular proactive hazard vulnerability analyses, improving communication lines and mutual aid agreements with local and state organizations, and preparing for critical emergencies such as landslides and active shooter scenarios. This can help to ensure adequate resources and investments are provided to care for older adults during emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Humans , Aged , Emergencies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , California
3.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1110300, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236647

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were numerous stories of health equity work being put "on hold" as public health staff were deployed to the many urgent tasks of responding to the emergency. Losing track of health equity work is not new and relates in part to the need to transfer tacit knowledge to explicit articulation of an organization's commitment to health equity, by encoding the commitment and making it visible and sustainable in policy documents, protocols and processes. Methods: We adopted a Theory of Change framework to develop training for public health personnel to articulate where and how health equity is or can be embedded in their emergency preparedness processes and documents. Results: Over four sessions, participants reviewed how well their understanding of disadvantaged populations were represented in emergency preparedness, response and mitigation protocols. Using equity prompts, participants developed a heat map depicting where more work was needed to explicitly involve community partners in a sustained manner. Participants were challenged at times by questions of scope and authority, but it became clear that the explicit health equity prompts facilitated conversations that moved beyond the idea of health equity to something that could be codified and later measured. Over four sessions, participants reviewed how well their understanding of disadvantaged populations were represented in emergency preparedness, response and mitigation protocols. Using equity prompts, participants developed a heat map depicting where more work was needed to explicitly involve community partners in a sustained manner. Participants were challenged at times by questions of scope and authority, but it became clear that the explicit health equity prompts facilitated conversations that moved beyond the idea of health equity to something that could be codified and later measured. Discussion: Using the indicators and prompts enabled the leadership and staff to articulate what they do and do not know about their community partners, including how to sustain their involvement, and where there was need for action. Saying out loud where there is - and is not - sustained commitment to achieving health equity can help public health organizations move from theory to true preparedness and resilience.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , Communication
4.
Health Policy ; 133: 104844, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328352

ABSTRACT

The crowded global health landscape has been joined by the European Union Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). HERA will assume four broad areas of responsibility: horizon scanning for major health threats; research and development; support for capacity to manufacture drugs, vaccines, and equipment; and procuring and stockpiling key medical countermeasures. In this Health Reform Monitor article, we outline the reform process and describe HERA's structure and responsibilities, explore issues that arise from the creation of this new organisation, and suggest options for collaboration with existing bodies in Europe and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious disease outbreaks have shown the need to treat health as a cross-border issue, and there is now a broad consensus that greater direction and coordination at the European level is needed. This ambition has been matched with a considerable increase in EU funding to tackle cross-border health threats, and HERA can be used to deploy this funding in an effective manner. Yet this is contingent upon clearly defining its role and responsibilities vis-à-vis existing agencies to reduce redundancies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Health Care Reform , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Global Health
6.
JAMA Health Forum ; 4(1): e224824, 2023 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2307113

ABSTRACT

This Viewpoint examines the future role of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense , Public Health , Regional Health Planning
7.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 17: e377, 2023 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2292685

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Historically, the child care industry has been unprepared for emergencies. A previous study identified gaps in Michigan's child care programs' emergency plans. Study objectives were to reassess programs' preparedness plans after introduction of state-mandated emergency plans and to examine the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on programs' operations. METHODS: A 29-question survey was sent to ∼500 child care programs across Michigan in 2020 to assess emergency plans and response to COVID-19. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative methods. RESULTS: A total of 346 programs (70%) responded. Most (92%) reported having a written plan, but one-third reported having no infectious outbreak plan pre-pandemic. One-third of programs lacked plans for special needs children (vs 40% in 2014); 62% lacked plans for child reunification (vs 60% in 2014); 46% reported staff received no preparedness training. COVID-19 impacted programs substantially: 59% closed, 20% decreased capacity, 27% changed disinfecting protocols. Several themes related to the pandemic's effect on programs were identified: (1) changes in learning, (2) changes in socialization, (3) increased family burden, (4) financial challenges, (5) lack of guidance. CONCLUSIONS: Significant preparedness gaps remain among Michigan's child care programs, suggesting the need for increased support and addition of emergency preparedness to programs' quality ratings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Humans , Child , Michigan/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Child Care , COVID-19/epidemiology
8.
J Emerg Manag ; 21(7): 71-84, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291409

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that is "creeping" in its onset and "slow-burning" in its duration. It is characterized by extreme uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity, presenting an unprecedented need for response across sectors and political-administrative levels. While there has been an explosion of research papers into the national strategies for handling the pandemic, empirical publications on the local and regional management are still scarce. This paper presents early empirical insights into key collaborative functions in Norway and Sweden, with an ambition to contribute to a research agenda focusing on the collaborative practices of pandemic crisis management. Our findings point to a set of themes that are all related to emerging collaborative structures, that fill holes in pre-established structures for dealing with crises, and that have been important for being able to effectively deal with the pandemic. At the municipal and regional levels, we see more examples of well-adapted collaborative practices than we see the wickedness of the problem causing inertia and paralysis. However, the emergence of new structures indicates a need to adapt organizational structures to the existing problem, and the duration of the current crisis allows for significant evolution of collaborative structures within the various phases of the pandemic. The lessons that can be drawn from this reveal a need for reconsideration of some of the basic assumptions of crisis research and practice, in particular the so-called similarity principle that is a cornerstone of emergency preparedness organization in many countries, including Norway and Sweden.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Norway , Uncertainty
9.
J Pediatr Nurs ; 71: 88-94, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2295600

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Improving household emergency preparedness (EP) is a public health priority, yet little is known about what influence the COVID-19 pandemic had on families' EP. This study aimed to explore current EP attitudes and behaviors. METHODS: We conducted online focus groups in Winter 2022 with a nationwide sample of parents of adolescents. We held six 90-min focus groups of 9-15 participants using a semi-structured interview script that elicited parental knowledge and attitudes related to household EP. Two researchers conducted qualitative content analysis on focus group transcripts. First-level coding within and across scripts was used to identify broad categories or themes regarding EP. The process was reviewed continuously to verify data and coding procedures. Three investigators independently verified the final themes that emerged. RESULTS: Participants (N = 64) were mostly female (n = 54, 84.3%), white (n = 46, 71.9%), and college-educated (n = 49, 76.6%). Major themes included: 1) Expanded awareness and behavioral change related to EP due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) Reconceptualization of planning for family health as part of EP, 3) Changing perspectives related to vaccination as a component of EP, and 4) Perspectives related to discussing EP with their health care provider. CONCLUSIONS: EP was described as a healthcare issue and healthcare providers were identified as trusted sources of EP information. Interventions to support providers' ability to assist with individual EP health action plans, including discussing vaccination as part of preparedness are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Adolescent , Humans , Female , Male , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Parents
10.
Milbank Q ; 101(S1): 653-673, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303533

ABSTRACT

Policy Points The critical task of preparedness is inseparable from the regular work of advancing population health and health equity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Humans , Public Health
11.
J Emerg Manag ; 21(7): 51-69, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303275

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: It is vital that households are prepared for a natural disaster to help mitigate potential negative impacts. Our goal was to characterize United States household preparedness on a national level to guide next steps to better prepare for and respond to disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We added 10 questions to the existing Porter Novelli's ConsumerStyles surveys in fall 2020 (N = 4,548) and spring 2021 (N = 6,455) to examine factors that contribute to overall household preparedness levels. RESULTS: Being married (odds ratio (OR), 1.2), having children in the home (OR, 1.5), and having a household income of $150,000 or more (OR, 1.2) are all associated with increased preparedness levels. Those in the Northeast are least likely to be prepared (OR, 0.8). Persons living in mobile homes, Recreational Vehicles, boats, or vans are half as likely to have preparedness plans compared to those living in single family homes (OR, 0.6). CONCLUSIONS: As a nation, there is much work to be done in terms of preparedness to reach performance measure targets of 80 percent. These data can help inform response planning and the updating of communication resources such as websites, fact sheets, and other materials to reach a wide audience of disaster epidemiologists, emergency managers, and the public.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Natural Disasters , Child , Humans , United States , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology
12.
Am J Public Health ; 110(6): 752, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251293
13.
Public Health Rep ; 138(4): 565-566, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2285860
14.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 17: e355, 2023 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271646

ABSTRACT

During health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, systematic evaluation of capabilities, and multisector coordination are challenging while operating in triage mode. During Action Review and Tabletop (DART) identifies recommendations for strengthening readiness and resiliency by creating a single methodology integrating retrospective analysis of the response to date with a prospective analysis of future scenarios. DART utilizes a role-based questionnaire and participant-led discussion for retrospective response review and identification of future scenarios of concern. Tabletop exercises exploring those future scenarios are conducted in a multi-role format to assess readiness and resiliency. Participants evaluate findings to determine recommended actions to improve response capabilities. 3 COVID-19 focused DARTs demonstrated the ability of this participant-led approach to systematically assess, not only readiness for today, but also resiliency to future complications. While demonstrating its usefulness during COVID-19, DART's flexible and modular design promises to be an effective for any ongoing health emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Humans , Disaster Planning/methods , Retrospective Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology
15.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 420, 2023 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268275

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to demonstrate the risks and profound health impacts that result from infectious disease emergencies. Emergency preparedness has been defined as the knowledge, capacity and organizational systems that governments, response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals develop to anticipate, respond to, or recover from emergencies. This scoping review explored recent literature on priority areas and indicators for public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) with a focus on infectious disease emergencies. METHODS: Using scoping review methodology, a comprehensive search was conducted for indexed and grey literature with a focus on records published from 2017 to 2020 onward, respectively. Records were included if they: (a) described PHEP, (b) focused on an infectious emergency, and (c) were published in an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development country. An evidence-based all-hazards Resilience Framework for PHEP consisting of 11 elements was used as a reference point to identify additional areas of preparedness that have emerged in recent publications. The findings were analyzed deductively and summarized thematically. RESULTS: The included publications largely aligned with the 11 elements of the all-hazards Resilience Framework for PHEP. In particular, the elements related to collaborative networks, community engagement, risk analysis and communication were frequently observed across the publications included in this review. Ten emergent themes were identified that expand on the Resilience Framework for PHEP specific to infectious diseases. Planning to mitigate inequities was a key finding of this review, it was the most frequently identified emergent theme. Additional emergent themes were: research and evidence-informed decision making, building vaccination capacity, building laboratory and diagnostic system capacity, building infection prevention and control capacity, financial investment in infrastructure, health system capacity, climate and environmental health, public health legislation and phases of preparedness. CONCLUSION: The themes from this review contribute to the evolving understanding of critical public health emergency preparedness actions. The themes expand on the 11 elements outlined in the Resilience Framework for PHEP, specifically relevant to pandemics and infectious disease emergencies. Further research will be important to validate these findings, and expand understanding of how refinements to PHEP frameworks and indicators can support public health practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Communicable Diseases , Humans , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/therapy
16.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 17: e318, 2023 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248647

ABSTRACT

Mass Casualty Incidents recently increased in intensity and frequency at an unprecedented rate globally. On August 4, 2020, a massive blast hit the Port of Beirut severely damaging its healthcare sector. This study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the Beirut blast on acute care hospitals in the Beirut area, with a focus on understanding healthcare professionals' (HCPs) responses and encountered challenges. A qualitative research design method was adopted to evaluate the experiences of HCPs at acute hospitals located within 5 kilometers of the blast epicenter. 9 hospitals participated in the study. 11 semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informant HCPs using a designed interview guide. HCPs reported severe infrastructural damages in their corresponding hospitals, and 2 were completely non-functional post-blast. Other than physical injuries sustained by HCPs, the blast imposed substantial strains on their mental health, exacerbated by the ongoing socio-economic crises in Lebanon. Moreover, the findings revealed critical challenges which hindered hospitals' emergency responses at the level of communication, coordination, and human resources, as well as supplies. Participants urged for the need to conduct proper triage, arrange emergency operating centers, and deploy outdoor treatment tents among others, to effectively respond to future disasters. The Beirut blast overwhelmed the Lebanese healthcare system and challenged its level of emergency preparedness. This generated evidence to address the deficiencies and strengthen the existing hospitals' emergency response plans. Future efforts should include prioritizing hospitals' emergency preparedness to ensure the provision of care at increased capacity following the impact of a large-scale disaster.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Mass Casualty Incidents , Humans , Civil Defense/methods , Triage/methods , Hospitals
17.
J Drugs Dermatol ; 20(1): 10-16, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2255393

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has served as a call-to-arms in preparing practices for the next disaster whether it is another infectious disease or a flood, hurricane, earthquake, a sustained power outage, or something else. A group of predominantly core aesthetic physicians discussed the various aspects of their office procedures that warrant consideration in a proactive approach to the next pandemic/disaster-related event. This guide does not set a standard of practice but contains recommendations that may avoid some of the "lessons learned" with the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, the board-certified core aesthetic physicians classified these recommendations into four generalized areas: Practice Management; Supplies and Inventory; Office Staffing Considerations and Protocols; and Patient Management Strategies. Proactive strategies are provided in each of these categories that, if implemented, may alleviate the processes involved with an efficient office closure and reopening process including, in the case of COVID-19, methods to reduce the risk of transmission to doctors, staff, and patients. These strategies also include being prepared for emergency-related notifications of employees and patients; the acquisition of necessary equipment and supplies such as personal protective equipment; and the maintenance and accessibility of essential data and contact information for patients, vendors, financial advisors, and other pertinent entities.J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(1):10-16. doi:10.36849/JDD.5803.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Civil Defense/methods , Disaster Planning/methods , Disasters/prevention & control , Disease Management , Physician's Role , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Civil Defense/trends , Disaster Planning/trends , Humans , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/trends
18.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 81-87, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239845

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to describe the Italian obstetric surveillance system (ItOSS) preparedness as an element for a timely response to the new Coronavirus pandemic. ItOSS is a surveillance network that has been collecting data on maternal mortality and conducting population studies on obstetric near misses since 2013. At the beginning of the pandemic, ItOSS launched a new population-based project to monitor SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy and post-partum and promptly give back information useful to clinicians and decision-makers. All the regions and autonomous provinces, for a total of 289 birth units (PN), joined the study. Data relating to pregnant or post-partum women with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosis addressing the maternities for outpatient visits or hospitalization were collected. The project methodology entails that each participating maternity reports the cases to ItOSS uploading data through an open-source platform. The on-line form includes sociodemographic and clinical data and maternal-neonatal outcomes. Biological samples to detect possible vertical transmission are also collected voluntarily. A total of 534 incident cases were reported from February 25th to July 10th 2020; 7 regions also collected biological samples for 227 cases; data collection is still ongoing.A preliminary analysis of the first 146 SARS-CoV-2 positive women who gave birth between February 25th to April 22nd shows an incidence rate of the infection equal to 2.1/1,000 in Italy and 6.9/1,000 in the Lombardy Region (Northern Italy). The brief time needed to setting up and operating the project, the national coverage, the adoption of shared tools for data collection, the quality and completeness of the information collected show how the availability of active networks like ItOSS represents a crucial element to hold a high level of preparedness in case of a health emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Civil Defense , Disease Notification/methods , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Data Collection , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Italy/epidemiology , Maternal Mortality , Maternal-Child Health Centers/statistics & numerical data , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Puerperal Disorders/epidemiology , Specimen Handling
19.
Front Public Health ; 10: 835330, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2199441

ABSTRACT

Background: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed the public health preparedness and response system across the world. The current study was conducted to gauge the perception of public health professionals of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) countries regarding the preparedness and responses of their countries in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: Three capacity-building programs, namely "Managing COVID-19 Pandemic-Experience and Best practices of India" were conducted by PGIMER, Chandigarh, for public health professionals from ITEC countries from April to May 2021 in which 97 participants from 13 countries have participated. The tools used in the study were adapted from WHO's COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response (SPRP), Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, interim guidelines for Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19, and a strategic framework for emergency preparedness, and finalized using Delphi technique. The overall preparedness of managing COVID-19 was rated using five-point Likert scale, whereas the overall score for the country in combating the COVID-19 pandemic was assessed using 10 point scale. Results: We found that the perception of public health professionals to government response regarding COVID-19 for fostering improvement on COVID-19 situation was "moderate" with respect to transmission and surveillance mechanism, uniform reporting mechanism, and availability of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers. However, the participants rated government response as "poor" in the availability of multisectoral national operational plan, human resource capacity, availability of trained rapid response team (RRT), preparedness in prevention and clinical management, training of healthcare workers, communication and community engagement strategies, facilities to test samples of patients, and transparent governance and administration. Conclusion: A poor level of preparedness of countries in diverse domains of managing the COVID-19 pandemic was observed. As the global threat of COVID-19 is still looming, great efforts on building a robust preparedness and response system for COVID-19 and similar pandemics are urgently required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perception , Personal Protective Equipment
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