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Using Timely Survey-Based Information Networks to Collect Data on Best Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Illustrative Case From the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Ebola Surveys

  • Mahshid Abir (a1), Melinda Moore (a2), Margaret Chamberlin (a3), Kristi L. Koenig (a4), Jon Mark Hirshon (a5), Cynthia Singh (a6), Sandra Schneider (a7) (a8) (a9) and Stephen Cantrill (a10)...

Abstract

Objective

Using the example of surveys conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) regarding the management of Ebola cases in the United States, we aimed to demonstrate how survey-based information networks can provide timely data to inform best practices in responding to public health emergencies.

Methods

ACEP conducted 3 surveys among its members in October to November 2014 to assess the state of Ebola preparedness in emergency departments. We analyzed the surveys to illustrate the types of information that can be gleaned from such surveys. We analyzed qualitative data through theme extraction and collected quantitative results through cross-tabulations and logistic regression examining associations between outcomes and potential contributing factors.

Results

In the first survey, most respondents perceived their hospital as being reasonably prepared for Ebola. The second survey revealed significant associations between a hospital’s preparedness and its perceived ability to admit Ebola patients. The third survey identified 3 hospital characteristics that were significantly and independently associated with perceived ability to admit Ebola patients: large size, previous Ebola screening experience, and physician- and nurse-led hospital preparedness.

Conclusion

Professional associations can use their member networks to collect timely survey data to inform best practices during and immediately after public health emergencies. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:681–690)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Mahshid Abir, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (e-mail: mahshida@med.umich.edu)

References

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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States. CDC website. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/united-states-imported-case.html. Accessed June 9, 2015.
2. Chamberlin, M, Okunogbe, A, Moore, M, et al, Intra-action report: a dynamic tool for emergency managers and policy makers. RAND Perspectives. PE-147. http://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE147.html. Published January 2015. Accessed June 9, 2015..
3. American College of Emergency Physicians. Emergency Medicine Practice Research Network. ACEP website. http://www.acepnow.com/article/emprn-research-network-amplifies-physician-voices/. Accessed May 28, 2016.
4. Cookson, ST, Soetebier, K, Murray, EL, et al. Internet-based morbidity and mortality surveillance among hurricane Katrina evacuees in Georgia. Prev Chronic Dis. 2008;5:A133.

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Using Timely Survey-Based Information Networks to Collect Data on Best Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Illustrative Case From the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Ebola Surveys

  • Mahshid Abir (a1), Melinda Moore (a2), Margaret Chamberlin (a3), Kristi L. Koenig (a4), Jon Mark Hirshon (a5), Cynthia Singh (a6), Sandra Schneider (a7) (a8) (a9) and Stephen Cantrill (a10)...

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