Increasing Perceived Emergency Preparedness by Participatory Policy-Making (Think-Tanks)

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Abstract

Objective: The study aimed to examine impact of think-tanks designed to create policies for emerging threats on medical teams' perceptions of individual and systemic emergency preparedness. Methods: Multi-professional think-tanks were established to design policies for potential attacks on civilian communities. In total, 59 multi-sector health care managers participated in think-tanks focused on: (a) primary care services in risk zones; (b) hospital care; (c) casualty evacuation policies; (d) medical services to special-needs populations; and (e) services in a temporary military-closed zone. Participants rotated systematically between think-tanks. Perceived individual and systemic emergency preparedness was reviewed pre-post participation in think-tanks. Results: A significant increase in perceived emergency preparedness pre-post-think-tanks was found in 8/10 elements including in perceived individual role proficiency (3.71±0.67 vs 4.60±0.53, respectively; P<0.001) and confidence in colleagues' proficiency during crisis (3.56±0.75 vs 4.37±0.61, respectively; P<0.001). Individual preparedness and role perception correlates with systemic preparedness and proficiency in risk assessment. Conclusions: Participation in policy-making impacts on individuals' perceptions of empowerment including trust in colleagues' capacities, but does not increase confidence in a system's preparedness. Field and managerial officials should be involved in policy-making processes, as a means to empower health care managers and improve interfaces and self-efficacy that are relevant to preparedness and response for crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Think-tanks
  • community health planning
  • emergency preparedness
  • health care facilities
  • health policy
  • manpower and services

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