Disaster Exercises to Prepare Hospitals for Mass-Casualty Incidents: Does it Contribute to Preparedness or is it Ritualism?

Marlous LMI Verheul, Michel LA Dückers, Bea B. Visser, Ralf JJ Beerens, Joost JLM Bierens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Introduction: The central question this study sought to answer was whether the team members of Strategic Crisis Teams (SCTs) participating in mass-casualty incident (MCI) exercises in the Netherlands learn from their participation. Methods: Evaluation reports of exercises that took place at two different times were collected and analyzed against a theoretical model with several dimensions, looking at both the quality of the evaluation methodology (three criteria: objectives described, link between objective and items for improvement, and data-collection method) and the learning effect of the exercise (one criterion: the change in number of items for improvement). Results: Of all 32 evaluation reports, 81% described exercise objectives; 30% of the items for improvement in the reports were linked to these objectives, and 22% of the 32 evaluation reports used a structured template to describe the items for improvement. In six evaluation categories, the number of items for improvement increased between the first (T1) and the last (T2) evaluation report submitted by hospitals. The number of items remained equal for two evaluation categories and decreased in six evaluation categories. Conclusion: The evaluation reports do not support the ideal-typical disaster exercise process. The authors could not establish that team members participating in MCI exercises in the Netherlands learn from their participation. More time and effort must be spent on the development of a validated evaluation system for these simulations, and more research into the role of the evaluator is needed. Verheul MLMI, Dückers MLA, Visser BB, Beerens RJJ, Bierens JJLM. Disaster exercises to prepare hospitals for mass-casualty incidents: does it contribute to preparedness or is it ritualism? Prehosp Disaster Med.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-393
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Volume33
Issue number4
Early online date2018 Jul 17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Studies
  • Other Health Sciences

Keywords

  • hospital staff preparedness
  • mass-casualty incidents
  • professional education
  • simulation exercises

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