Defining and Operationalizing Disaster Preparedness of Hospitals : A Systematic Review of the Literature

Introduction: Societies invest substantial amounts of resources on disaster preparedness of hospitals. However, the concept is not clearly defined or operationalized in the international literature.

Aim: This study seeks to contribute to the alignment of knowledge of disaster preparedness in hospitals based on a systematic review and analysis of definitions and operationalizations.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted in five databases: Scopus, Pubmed, Web of Science, Disaster Information Management Research Centre, and Safetylit. Peer-reviewed articles containing definitions and operationalizations of disaster preparedness in hospitals were included. Articles published in languages other than English, or without available full-text were excluded, as were articles on pre-hospital care.

Results: Of the 39 included publications, 14 defined disaster preparedness in hospitals and 26 operationalized the concept. Although the definitions differed, they also reflected similar elements. Based on an analysis of the operationalizations, 12 different components could be identified that generally were not studied in relation to each other. Moreover, where publications primarily focused on structure and process aspects of disaster preparedness, 4 articles described the preferred outcome.

Discussion: This review points at an absence of consensus on the definition and operationalization of disaster preparedness in hospitals. By combining the elements of the definitions and the components operationalized disaster preparedness could be conceptualized in a more comprehensive and complete way. A framework was developed that can guide future disaster preparedness research.

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Marlous LMI Verheul and Michel LA Dückers | 2019
In: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine ISSN‎: ‎1049-023X | 34 | S1 | s77-s77
Conference: WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2019, Brisbane, Australia
Abstracts, Disasters, Emergency Personnel, Hospitals, Literature Review
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