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InCrowd MicroSurvey: Are US Medical Facilities Ready for the Next Mass Emergency?
By Danielle Schroth

With large-scale emergency incidents on the rise, InCrowd wanted to know if and how US medical facilities are preparing for the unexpected. InCrowd’s microsurvey tool surveyed 1,000 healthcare professionals — the majority being physicians and nurses with varying specialties — averaging 16 years in practice. In general, these HCPs had a similar confidence in the facilities where they practiced.

Three quarters (74%) of respondents reported that their facility was prepared to handle any emergency situation.

Some respondents elaborated on why they think their workplace was ready. A nurse from Indiana with eight years in practice said that her place of practice has a designated disaster management coordinator who keeps staff aware of potential issues and works to make sure processes are in place.

Others reported their facilities having organized drills that give healthcare employees  experience dealing with an active emergency. A physician from Colorado added, “My hospital system and clinics that I work in have protocols for many different types of emergency situations and engage the teams in regular drills and simulations. We also have a centralized hub where these protocols are available for review at any time.”

A physician from Arizona with 19 years in practice finds his facilities use of regular mock drills and clearly-posted emergency plans to be the most helpful.

However, while the majority reported adequate readiness, another quarter of respondents did not think their facility was up to the challenge. One physician from Pennsylvania with 18 years in practice was concerned his place of practice had “no prior experience with disaster situations to build on.” Another physician from Kansas with 20 years in practice felt his medical facility was, “Not for [prepared for] disasters. Nursing and medics not fully equipped and resources are thin. Not prepared for natural or man made disasters.” These concerns highlight how while steps have been taken to be prepared for an emergency, not everyone feels their practice is ready for one.

For the most part, hospitals and healthcare facilities continue to develop effective disaster plans to keep both the patients and the healthcare professionals themselves safe and healthy.

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