Qualitative Research: Institutional Preparedness During Threats of Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Doret de Rooij, Evelien Belfroid, Renske Eilers, Dorothee Roßkamp, Corien Swaan, Aura Timen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: As demonstrated during the global Ebola crisis of 2014-2016, healthcare institutions in high resource settings need support concerning preparedness during threats of infectious disease outbreaks. This study aimed to exploratively develop a standardized preparedness system to use during unfolding threats of severe infectious diseases.

METHODS: A qualitative three-step study among infectious disease prevention and control experts was performed. First, interviews ( n = 5) were conducted to identify which factors trigger preparedness activities during an unfolding threat. Second, these triggers informed the design of a phased preparedness system which was tested in a focus group discussion ( n = 5) were conducted to identify which factors trigger preparedness activities during an unfolding threat. Second, these triggers informed the design of a phased preparedness system which was tested in a focus group discussion ( n = 5) were conducted to identify which factors trigger preparedness activities during an unfolding threat. Second, these triggers informed the design of a phased preparedness system which was tested in a focus group discussion (.

RESULTS: Four preparedness phases were identified: preparedness phase green is a situation without the presence of the infectious disease threat that requires centralized care, anywhere in the world. Phase yellow is an outbreak in the world with some likelihood of imported cases. Phase orange is a realistic chance of an unexpected case within the country, or unrest developing among population or staff; phase red is cases admitted to hospitals in the country, potentially causing a shortage of resources. Specific preparedness activities included infection prevention, diagnostics, patient care, staff, and communication. Consensus was reached on the need for the development of a preparedness system and national coordination during threats.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we developed a standardized system to support institutional preparedness during an increasing threat. Use of this system by both curative healthcare institutions and the (municipal) public health service, could help to effectively communicate and align preparedness activities during future threats of severe infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cooperative behavior
  • disease outbreaks
  • health facilities
  • humans
  • qualitative research
  • terminology as topic
  • prevention
  • control

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