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Topical Collection "Emergencies and Public Health Crisis Management- Current Perspectives on Risks and Multiagency Collaboration"

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Health and Sustainability".

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Editor

Prof. Dr. Amir Khorram-Manesh
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Interests: disaster and major incident; disaster management; emergency medicine; surgery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear colleagues,

In most of the disaster events, regional and international assistance are available to affected areas and typically arrive days following the impact to help take up all needs and bridge the gap between the surge phase and the resumption of routine delivery. In some events (e.g., global pandemic), there are not the typical resources available to extend to neighboring regions. In such cases, building local response capabilities can greatly enhance community resiliency. The acute and postacute phase intrinsic response capability can be greatly enhanced through a regional and sustainable interagency emergency management system.

The successful management of emergencies and public health crises depends on the adequate measures implemented in all levels of the emergency chain of action, from policy makers to the general population. It starts with appropriate risk assessment, prevention, and mitigation, and continues to prehospital and hospital care, recovery, and evaluation. All levels of action require well-thought-out emergency management plans and routines based on established command and control, identified safety issues, functional communication, well-documented triage and treatment policies, and available logistics. All these characteristics are capabilities that should be developed and trained, particularly when diverse agencies are involved.

In addition to institutional responses, a robust, community-based disaster response system can effectively mitigate against and respond to all emergencies. A well-balanced response is largely dependent on local resources and regional responding agencies that all too often train and operate within “silos”, in the absence of interagency cooperation.

The importance of this Issue is its commitment to all parts of emergency and public health crisis management from a multiagency perspective. It aims to discuss lessons learned, introduce new ideas about flexible surge capacity, and show the way it can practice multiagency collaboration.

The main goal of this Issue is to bring together public health perspectives on the management of crises and develop the idea of multiagency management from a wider perspective.

Prof. Dr. Amir Khorram-Manesh
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public health
  • emergencies
  • disaster
  • flexible surge capacity
  • multiagency approach
  • training
  • exercises

Published Papers (16 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
A County Town in Ruins: Memories, Emotions, and Sense of Place in Post-Earthquake Beichuan, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11258; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011258 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Ruins serve as symbolic sites at which to re-examine people’s relationships with the past and bonds with places. In the context of the ruination caused by earthquakes and the displacement and resettlement of local residents post-disaster, this paper explores vernacular (residents’ and survivors’) [...] Read more.
Ruins serve as symbolic sites at which to re-examine people’s relationships with the past and bonds with places. In the context of the ruination caused by earthquakes and the displacement and resettlement of local residents post-disaster, this paper explores vernacular (residents’ and survivors’) memories, emotions, and senses of place triggered by the ruins of Beichuan county town, China. Results show vernacular memories of specific ruins were highly fragmented and multi-temporal. Interwoven before- and after-quake memories gave rise to complex emotions, mainly including traumatic feeling of sadness, fear, and painful nostalgia. The study further identifies people’s sense of place towards the ruined county town and finds that locals’ sense of place was not accompanied by the loss of physical dependence to the negative side; locals still expressed high levels of place identity (physical uniqueness, self-esteem, and meanings), place attachment (rootedness and emotional attachment), and positive consequences of place behaviours (protection intention and revisiting) post-earthquake. Moreover, it found that sociodemographic variables of age and length of residence in Beichuan and the variables of disaster loss had significant effect on people’s sense of place. This study balances the overriding focus on visual and representational concerns common in ruin scholarship and further reveals the complex psychological processes impacting on sense of place after large-scale disasters. The findings reflect on the relief practices of post-disaster planning and can serve to guide ruin preservation. Full article
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Review
The Influence of War and Conflict on Infectious Disease: A Rapid Review of Historical Lessons We Have Yet to Learn
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910783 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Armed conflicts degrade established healthcare systems, which typically manifests as a resurgence of preventable infectious diseases. While 70% of deaths globally are now from non-communicable disease; in low-income countries, respiratory infections, diarrheal illness, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDs are all in the top 10 [...] Read more.
Armed conflicts degrade established healthcare systems, which typically manifests as a resurgence of preventable infectious diseases. While 70% of deaths globally are now from non-communicable disease; in low-income countries, respiratory infections, diarrheal illness, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDs are all in the top 10 causes of death. The burden of these infectious diseases is exacerbated by armed conflict, translating into even more dramatic long-term consequences. This rapid evidence review searched electronic databases in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Of 381 identified publications, 73 were included in this review. Several authors indicate that the impact of infectious diseases increases in wars and armed conflicts due to disruption to surveillance and response systems that were often poorly developed to begin with. Although the true impact of conflict on infectious disease spread is not known and requires further research, the link between them is indisputable. Current decision-making management systems are insufficient and only pass the baton to the next unwary generation. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021

Editorial
Disasters and Public Health Emergencies—Current Perspectives in Preparedness and Response
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208561 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Disasters and public health emergencies are inevitable and can happen anywhere and anytime [...] Full article
Article
Outcomes of Establishing an Urgent Care Centre in the Same Location as an Emergency Department
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8190; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198190 - 04 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
The emergency department (ED) is one of the busiest facilities in a hospital, and it is frequently described as a bottleneck that limits space and structures, jeopardising surge capacity during Major Incidents and Disasters (MIDs) and pandemics such as the COVID 19 outbreak. [...] Read more.
The emergency department (ED) is one of the busiest facilities in a hospital, and it is frequently described as a bottleneck that limits space and structures, jeopardising surge capacity during Major Incidents and Disasters (MIDs) and pandemics such as the COVID 19 outbreak. One remedy to facilitate surge capacity is to establish an Urgent Care Centre (UCC), i.e., a secondary ED, co-located and in close collaboration with an ED. This study investigates the outcome of treatment in an ED versus a UCC in terms of length of stay (LOS), time to physician (TTP) and use of medical services. If it was possible to make these parameters equal to or even less than the ED, UCCs could be used as supplementary units to the ED, improving sustainability. The results show reduced waiting times at the UCC, both in terms of TTP and LOS. In conclusion, creating a primary care-like facility in close proximity to the hospitals may not only relieve overcrowding of the hospital’s ED in peacetime, but it may also provide an opportunity for use during MIDs and pandemics to facilitate the victims of the incident and society as a whole. Full article
Article
Nurses’ Readiness for Emergencies and Public Health Challenges—The Case of Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197874 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
This study was aimed at assessing the readiness of 200 emergency nurses in the southern part of Saudi Arabia in the management of public health emergencies, major incidents, and disasters by using quantitative research through a self-reporting validated questionnaire containing 10 different dimensions. [...] Read more.
This study was aimed at assessing the readiness of 200 emergency nurses in the southern part of Saudi Arabia in the management of public health emergencies, major incidents, and disasters by using quantitative research through a self-reporting validated questionnaire containing 10 different dimensions. All registered nurses working in emergency departments who were willing to participate, of all ages and gender groups, were included. Nurses who were not present during the study period because of vacation or maternity leave, nurses at the managerial level, and nursing aides were excluded. The participating nurses reported good knowledge in almost all investigated aspects of the theoretical dimensions of emergency management. However, they revealed perceived weaknesses in practical dimensions of emergency management and difficulties in assessing their own efforts. There was a significant correlation between qualification and the dimensions of emergency preparedness, epidemiology and surveillance, isolation and quarantine and critical resources, which indicates a need for strengthening their practical contribution as well as their theoretical knowledge. Educational initiatives combining theoretical and practical aspects of emergency management may provide an opportunity to examine nurses’ knowledge, skills, and abilities continuously in an environment with no harm to patients. Full article
Article
A Study on the Job Retention Intention of Nurses Based on Social Support in the COVID-19 Situation
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187276 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
This study investigated how social support influences the job engagement and job retention intention of nurses struggling in the continuing scenes of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, 382 nurses were the participants, data from 377 of whom were analyzed in total, with [...] Read more.
This study investigated how social support influences the job engagement and job retention intention of nurses struggling in the continuing scenes of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, 382 nurses were the participants, data from 377 of whom were analyzed in total, with the following results. First, it showed that nurses’ job engagement and job retention intention were high, depending on their age and work experience. Second, in terms of the factors related to COVID-19, the group with experience in nursing patients infected with COVID-19 and nurses working in COVID-19 divisions had low job retention intention. Lastly, it appeared that there were differences in job engagement and job retention intention depending on the category and type of social support. These results suggest that social support should be provided strategically to ensure nurses’ job retention. Full article
Article
Preparedness and Multiagency Collaboration—Lessons Learned from a Case Study in the Norwegian Armed Forces
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187240 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 633
Abstract
The objective of this study is to investigate the structure for learning and the learning outcomes from a paper exercise based on multiagency collaboration, and point to potential benefits for crisis leadership and management in civil organizations. The current study was conducted by [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to investigate the structure for learning and the learning outcomes from a paper exercise based on multiagency collaboration, and point to potential benefits for crisis leadership and management in civil organizations. The current study was conducted by participant observation in one exercise and a questionnaire was handed out in the following exercise to measure outcomes. Social interaction and concurrent learning are used as the theoretical foundation in the current study. The exercise can be used as an input for multiagency collaboration when linked to the strategic and operative context. The Norwegian Armed Forces operate from a leadership perspective of intention-based leadership. The organization has also developed a pedagogical platform that guides learning activities. In a complex world, we aim at finding training areas that can prepare the cadets for scenarios that also heavily involve the unforeseen. Improvisation is seen as important for military leaders and the exercise provides a sound arena for this purpose. We have seen that even for a table exercise, important lessons can be learned. The current study makes suggestions as well as improvements that could be performed based on the lessons learned for both the Norwegian Armed Forces as well as for other organizations that find the experiences interesting. The article identified five management principles for interaction under unforeseen conditions: (1) develop a pedagogical view for the organization, (2) facilitate and train using processes for complementary process development, (3) develop precise and common language, (4) train the organization in concurrent learning, (5) develop tolerance and mutual respect. Full article
Article
Batten Down the Hatches—Assessing the Status of Emergency Preparedness Planning in the German Water Supply Sector with Statistical and Expert-Based Weighting
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177177 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
Emergency preparedness planning in the water supply sector includes preventive measures to minimize risks as well as aspects of crisis management. Various scenarios such as floods, power failures or even a pandemic should be considered. This article presents a newly developed composite indicator [...] Read more.
Emergency preparedness planning in the water supply sector includes preventive measures to minimize risks as well as aspects of crisis management. Various scenarios such as floods, power failures or even a pandemic should be considered. This article presents a newly developed composite indicator system to assess the status of emergency preparedness planning in the German water supply. Two weighting methods of the indicators are compared: the indicator system was applied to a case study and a Germany-representative data set. The results show that there is a need for action in emergency preparedness planning in the German water supply. This is in particular due to a lack of risk analyses and insufficient crisis management. Numerous water supply companies and municipalities are already well-prepared, however, there is a need for action at several levels, especially in the area of risk analysis and evaluation of measures. In Germany, responsibility for this lies primarily with the municipalities. Full article
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Article
A Prognostic View on the Ideological Determinants of Violence in the Radical Ecological Movement
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6536; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166536 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Ecologically motivated violence that manifests itself in the animal-rights and environmental forms is not a declining phenomenon. The fluctuating increase of the number of ecologically motivated crimes during the last 50 years, the multiplicity of the methods used (arson, food poisoning in supermarkets, [...] Read more.
Ecologically motivated violence that manifests itself in the animal-rights and environmental forms is not a declining phenomenon. The fluctuating increase of the number of ecologically motivated crimes during the last 50 years, the multiplicity of the methods used (arson, food poisoning in supermarkets, destruction of equipment, attacks with the use of incentivized devices) should make us look at eco-extremism as a dynamic and difficult to grasp phenomenon. The paper is of both explanatory and prognostic nature; its goal is to present the genesis and essence of ecological radicalism, as well as to formulate the predictions for the future. In these forecasts, I wish to depart from the frequent, albeit somewhat simplistic, argument that, since the environmental extremist groups have not yet resorted to direct violence (targeting humans), and the animal-rights groups have reached for it very rarely, this state of affairs will continue in the future. This claim does not necessarily have to be true. I argue that some aspects of ideology can induce, in certain circumstances (a growing ecological catastrophe, further departure from the anthropocentric perspective), a change of the potential of radicalism within the environmental and animal-rights movements. In the case of animal-rights groups, the principle of not causing harm to people may be openly rejected, and in the case of environmental groups, the actions aimed at the annihilation of the whole human species may be undertaken. Full article
Article
“Share Your Tools”—A Utility Study of a Norwegian Wildland-Fire Collaboration Exercise
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6512; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166512 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
Based on the assumption that crisis collaboration exercises lead to better team-integration and more efficient problem solving, the aim of this study is to test whether there is a relationship between exercise participation and perceived levels of learning and utility. Online survey data [...] Read more.
Based on the assumption that crisis collaboration exercises lead to better team-integration and more efficient problem solving, the aim of this study is to test whether there is a relationship between exercise participation and perceived levels of learning and utility. Online survey data was collected from participants in a 2018 two-day, full-scale, wildland-fire collaboration exercise in southeastern Norway. The instrument of choice was the collaboration, learning, and utility (CLU) scale. Findings indicate a strong covariation between participation in Norwegian wildland-fire collaboration exercises and the perceived level of learning, with a medium to small covariation between perceived learning and utility. The results indicate the importance of giving clear instructions, focus on collaboration, and sufficient forms of discussion during and after the exercise in order to gain learning. However, learning had a limited impact on utility. The study indicates joint evaluations, improvising, and testing of new and alternative strategies across sectors are important when exercises are constructed. The data was retrieved from a questionnaire, observations and interviews can add more and comprehensive insight into the studied phenomenon. Full article
Article
Alternative Leadership in Flexible Surge Capacity—The Perceived Impact of Tabletop Simulation Exercises on Thai Emergency Physicians Capability to Manage a Major Incident
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156216 - 02 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Flexible surge capacity aims to activate and utilize other resources than normally are surged in a community during the primary and secondary surge capacity. The presence of alternative leadership, skilled and knowledgeable in hospital and prehospital emergency management, is invaluable. Thai emergency physicians [...] Read more.
Flexible surge capacity aims to activate and utilize other resources than normally are surged in a community during the primary and secondary surge capacity. The presence of alternative leadership, skilled and knowledgeable in hospital and prehospital emergency management, is invaluable. Thai emergency physicians work at both levels, emphasizing their important role in emergency management of any source in a disaster-prone country. We aimed to investigate Thai emergency physicians’ ability in terms of knowledge and preparedness to manage potential emergencies using tabletop simulation exercises. Using an established method for training collaboration, two training courses were arranged for over 50 Thai emergency physicians, who were divided into three teams of prehospital, hospital, and incident command groups. Three scenarios of a terror attack along with a bomb explosion, riot, and shooting, and high building fire were presented, and the participants’ performance was evaluated regarding their preparedness, response and gained knowledge. Two senior observers followed the leadership characteristic in particular. Thai physicians’ perceived ability in command and control, communication, collaboration, coordination, and situation assessment improved in all groups systematically. New perspectives and innovative measures were presented by participants, which improved the overall management on the final day. Tabletop simulation exercise increased the perceived ability, knowledge, and attitude of Thai emergency physicians in managing major incidents and disasters. It also enabled them to lead emergency management in a situation when alternative leadership is a necessity as part of the concept of a flexible surge capacity response system. Full article
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Article
Regional Flexible Surge Capacity—A Flexible Response System
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5984; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155984 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Surge capacity is the ability to manage the increased influx of critically ill or injured patients during a sudden onset crisis. During such an event, all ordinary resources are activated and used in a systematic, structured, and planned way to cope with the [...] Read more.
Surge capacity is the ability to manage the increased influx of critically ill or injured patients during a sudden onset crisis. During such an event, all ordinary resources are activated and used in a systematic, structured, and planned way to cope with the situation. There are, however, occasions where conventional healthcare means are insufficient, and additional resources must be summoned. In such an event, the activation of existing capabilities within community resources can increase regional surge capacity in a flexible manner. These additional resources together represent the concept of Flexible Surge Capacity. This study aims to investigate the possibility of establishing a Flexible Surge Capacity response system to emergencies by examining the main components of surge capacity (Staff, Stuff, Structure, System) within facilities of interest present in the Western Region of Sweden. Through a mixed-method and use of (A) questionnaires and (B) semi-structured key-informant interviews, data was collected from potential alternative care facilities to determine capacities and capabilities and barriers and limitations as well as interest to be included in a flexible surge capacity response system. Both interest and ability were found in the investigated primary healthcare centers, veterinary and dental clinics, schools, and sports and hotel facilities to participate in such a system, either by receiving resources and/or drills and exercises. Barriers limiting the potential participation in this response system consisted of a varying lack of space, beds, healthcare materials, and competencies along with a need for clear organizational structure and medical responsibility. These results indicate that the concept of flexible surge capacity is a feasible approach to emergency management. Educational initiatives, drills and exercises, layperson empowerment, organizational and legal changes and sufficient funding are needed to realize the concept. Full article
Article
Expansive Learning Process of Exercise Organizers: The Case of Major Fire Incident Exercises in Underground Mines
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145790 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
A major fire incident in a Swedish underground mine made the personnel from the mining company and the rescue service realize their limited preparedness. It was the beginning of a collaboration project that included the development of a new exercise model for a [...] Read more.
A major fire incident in a Swedish underground mine made the personnel from the mining company and the rescue service realize their limited preparedness. It was the beginning of a collaboration project that included the development of a new exercise model for a more effective joint rescue operation practice. The aim of this study was to explore the collaborative learning process of exercise organizers from the rescue service, mining companies, the emergency medical service, a training company, and academia. The analysis was performed through the application of the theory cycle of expansive learning to the material consisting of documents from 16 collaboration meetings and 11 full-scale exercises. The learning process started by the participants questioning the present practice of the rescue operation and analyzing it by creating a flow chart. An essential part of the process was to model new tools in order to increase the potential for collaboration. The tools were examined and tested during collaboration meetings and implemented during full-scale exercises. The exercise organizers reflected that the process led to organizational development and a better understanding of the other organizations’ perspectives. Consequently, a tentative model for developing the learning process of exercise organizers was developed. Full article
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Article
Inter-Organisational Exercises in Dry and Wet Context—Why Do Maritime Response Organisations Gain More Knowledge from Exercises at Sea Than Those on Shore?
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5604; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145604 - 12 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
This is a study of inter-organisational exercises arranged by on-shore organisations (ONSOs) and off-shore organisations (OFFSOs). The aim was to compare findings from trained emergency staffs’ perceptions of the impact of exercises. The data were retrieved from surveys conducted by the research team [...] Read more.
This is a study of inter-organisational exercises arranged by on-shore organisations (ONSOs) and off-shore organisations (OFFSOs). The aim was to compare findings from trained emergency staffs’ perceptions of the impact of exercises. The data were retrieved from surveys conducted by the research team in conjunction with exercises. The surveys included staff from the coast guard, sea rescue, police department, fire department and ambulance services. A total of 94 professional emergency personnel participated in the ONSO exercises and 252 in the OFFSO exercises. The study was based on the suggestion that collaborative elements during an inter-organisational exercise promote learning, and learning is important to make the exercises useful. Collaboration proved to be a predictor for some of the items in learning, and learning was a predictor for some of the items in utility. There was, however, a stronger covariation between collaboration, learning and utility in the OFFSOs exercises than in the ONSOs. One reason might be the different cultures of emergency staff involved in on-shore and off-shore organisations. The OFFSOs’ qualifications may be dominated by seamanship, together with professional practice, and all parties are expected to act as first responders. ONSOs, on the other hand, practice exercises from a strict professional and legal perspective. Full article
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Article
A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Triage Framework for (Sub)National Public–Private Partnership (PPP) Programs
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5253; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135253 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
Around the world, countries are struggling to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their (sub)national public–private partnership (PPP) programs. Burdened with the real possibility of widespread project failures and constrained budgets, governments are searching for ways [...] Read more.
Around the world, countries are struggling to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their (sub)national public–private partnership (PPP) programs. Burdened with the real possibility of widespread project failures and constrained budgets, governments are searching for ways to prioritize projects in need of relief and bolster post-pandemic recovery plans. To meet this need, this article conceptualizes a triage system for PPP programs based on five categories: (1) projects without a need for economic stimulus (blue); (2) projects experiencing minor economic/financial losses (green); (3) projects needing temporary/stop-gap support or restructuring (yellow); (4) projects unable to survive without significant economic relief (red); and (5) projects that cannot survive, even with government intervention (black). This research also stresses the importance of launching and sustaining a crisis command center to support PPP triage decisions and encourages PPP stakeholders to collectively craft win–win solutions for post-pandemic recovery efforts. Full article
Article
Disaster Preparedness and Professional Competence Among Healthcare Providers: Pilot Study Results
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124931 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3827
Abstract
The preparedness of a hospital for mass-casualty incident and disaster response includes activities, programs and systems developed and implemented before the event. These measures are designed to provide the necessary medical care to victims of disasters, and to minimize the negative impact of [...] Read more.
The preparedness of a hospital for mass-casualty incident and disaster response includes activities, programs and systems developed and implemented before the event. These measures are designed to provide the necessary medical care to victims of disasters, and to minimize the negative impact of individual events on medical services. Up until now, there has been no systematic survey in Poland concerning the readiness of hospitals, as well as medical personnel, to deal with mass-casualty incidents. Consequently, little is known about the knowledge, skills, and professional competences of healthcare workers. The objective of this pilot study was to start an exploration and to collect data on the competences of healthcare workers, in addition to assessing the preparedness of hospitals for mass-casualty incidents. Utilizing an anonymous survey of a random sample, 134 healthcare providers were asked to respond to questions about the competencies they needed, and hospital preparedness during disaster response. It turned out that the test subjects evaluate their own preparedness for mass-casualty incidents and disasters better than the preparedness of their current place of work. The pilot study demonstrated that a properly designed questionnaire can be used to assess the relationship between hospital and staff preparedness and disaster response efficiency. Evaluation of the preparedness and effectiveness of disaster response is a means of finding and removing possible gaps and weaknesses in the functioning and effective management of a hospital during mass-casualty incidents. Full article
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