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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201648 Find in a Library
Title: Hospital Preparedness: Most Urban Hospitals Have Emergency Plans but Lack Certain Capacities for Bioterrorism Response
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
United States of America
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 45
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20013
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Publication Number: GAO-03-924
Sale Source: US Government Accountability Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the degree of preparedness among hospitals to effectively treat victims of bioterrorism.
Abstract: The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) conducted a survey of hospital bioterrorism preparedness between May and September of 2002. The survey questioned 2,041 urban hospitals with emergency departments around the country. The response rate was 73 percent, with 1,482 hospitals completing the survey. Survey items included questions about planning activities related to coordinating with community and State organizations, staff training, and the response capacity of the facility. The results indicated that while most hospitals have taken part in planning activities, most lack the medical equipment necessary to handle large numbers of patients at once. Given the nature of bioterrorism, it is likely that hospitals would thus be unprepared to administer to the large crowds of victims who would require immediate medical attention. Approximately 80 percent of hospitals reported having a written emergency response plan, but many plans omitted important contacts such as laboratories. Most hospitals reported providing some training to staff members on the identification and diagnosis of likely biological agents, such as anthrax or botulism. Nearly all hospitals also reported participating in local, State, or regional interagency disaster preparedness committees. However, more than 50 percent of hospitals reported they had never conducted drills or exercises designed to simulate a bioterrorism incident requiring an immediate medical response. Appendices provide selected results of the survey, more details concerning the methodology, and GAO contact information. The report also contains related GAO products.
Main Term(s): Biological weapons; Hospitals
Index Term(s): Domestic Preparedness; Surveys
Note: Downloaded August 6, 2003.
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