bioterrorism, hospitals, preparedness
In the event of a bioterrorist attack, emergency departments are considered the first line of response for all acute levels of care. This study focused on hospital emergency departments in Florida and the activities, policies, and procedures involved in preparing for a bioterrorist attack. Hospital size, location, and system affiliation were related to attaining these levels, and their impact was assessed. Through a cross-sectional survey design, the physical properties of the 77 hospitals (i.e. facilities, equipment, communication systems, etc.), and the social characteristics of the organizations (managerial functions including: planning, training, financial, and environmental characteristics) were examined. One-way analysis of variance and t-tests revealed that bed size was a significant predictor of mean levels of preparedness. In addition, although more hospitals are conducting training activities, a disconnect between plans and communications of said plans still exists along with many deficiencies still needing to be corrected. Study limitations are discussed and important policy implications are presented. Suggestions for improving preparedness levels and implementing new policies include: conducting training exercises, developing community ties and mutual aid agreements, and using information technology with detection of an event and communication of the information garnered from these efforts.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Scharoun, Kourtney, "The Influences Of System Affiliation, Size, And Location On Bioterrorism Preparedness Among Florida Hospitals" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 387.