Health agencies working with the homebound play a vital role in bolstering a community’s resiliency by improving the preparedness of this vulnerable population. Nevertheless, this role is one for which agencies lack training and resources, which leaves many homebound at heightened risk. This study examined the utility of an evidence-based Disaster Preparedness Toolkit in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) programs.
We conducted an online survey of all VHA HBPC program managers (N=77/146; 53% response rate).
Respondents with fewer years with the HBPC program rated the toolkit as being more helpful (P<0.05). Of those who implemented their program’s disaster protocol most frequently, two-thirds strongly agreed that the toolkit was relevant. Conversely, of those who implemented their disaster protocols very infrequently or never, 23% strongly agreed that the topics covered in the toolkit were relevant to their work (P<0.05).
This toolkit helps support programs as they fulfill their preparedness requirements, especially practitioners who are new to their position in HBPC. Programs that implement disaster protocols infrequently may require additional efforts to increase understanding of the toolkit’s utility. Engaging all members of the team with their diverse clinical expertise could strengthen a patient’s personal preparedness plan. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:56–63)
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