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One of the most important measures following disasters is setting up a communicable disease surveillance system (CDSS). This study aimed to develop indicators to assess the performance of CDSSs in disasters.
In this 3-phase study, firstly a qualitative study was conducted through in-depth, semistructured interviews with experts on health in disasters and emergencies, health services managers, and communicable diseases center specialists. The interviews were analyzed, and CDSS performance assessment (PA) indicators were extracted. The appropriateness of these indicators was examined through a questionnaire administered to experts and heads of communicable diseases departments of medical sciences universities. Finally, the designed indicators were weighted using the analytic hierarchy process approach and Expert Choice software.
In this study, 51 indicators were designed, of which 10 were related to the input (19.61%), 17 to the process (33.33%), 13 to the product (25.49%), and 11 to the outcome (21.57%). In weighting, the maximum score was that of input (49.1), and the scores of the process, product, and outcome were 31.4, 12.7, and 6.8, respectively.
Through 3 different phases, PA indicators for 4 phases of a chain of results were developed. The authors believe that these PA indicators can assess the system’s performance and its achievements in response to disasters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:158–164)
As the cornerstone of any health system, hospitals have a crucial role in response to disasters. Because hospital experiences in disaster response can be instructive, this study examined the challenges of hospital response to the twin earthquakes of 2012 in East Azerbaijan, Iran.
In this qualitative study, the challenges of hospital response in the East Azerbaijan earthquakes were examined through focus group discussions. Participants were selected purposefully, and focus group discussions continued until data saturation. The data were manually analyzed by using Strauss and Corbin’s recommended method.
Hospitals were faced with 6 major challenges: lack of preparedness, lack of coordination, logistic deficiencies, patient/injured management, communication management, and other smaller challenges that were categorized in the “other challenges” category. The main theme was the lack of preparedness for disasters.
Although hospital preparedness is emphasized in credible references, this study showed that lack of preparedness is a major challenge for hospitals during disasters. Thus, it seems that hospital officials’ disaster risk perception and hospital preparedness should be improved. In addition, hospital preparedness assessment indexes should be included in the hospital accreditation process. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:422–430)
Communicable disease management (CDM) is an important component of disaster public health response operations. However, there is a lack of any performance assessment (PA) framework and related indicators for the PA. This study aimed to develop a PA framework and indicators in CDM in disasters.
In this study, a series of methods were used. First, a systematic literature review (SLR) was performed in order to extract the existing PA frameworks and indicators. Then, using a qualitative approach, some interviews with purposively selected experts were conducted and used in developing the PA framework and indicators. Finally, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was used for weighting of the developed indicators.
The input, process, products, and outcomes (IPPO) framework was found to be an appropriate framework for CDM PA. Seven main functions were revealed to CDM during disasters. Forty PA indicators were developed for the four categories.
There is a lack of any existing PA framework in CDM in disasters. Thus, in this study, a PA framework (IPPO framework) was developed for the PA of CDM in disasters through a series of methods. It can be an appropriate framework and its indicators could measure the performance of CDM in disasters.
BabaieJ, ArdalanA, VatandoostH, GoyaMM, AkbarisariA. Developing a Performance Assessment Framework and Indicators for Communicable Disease Management in Natural Disasters. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):27–35.
Following the twin earthquakes on August 11, 2012, in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran, the provincial health center set up a surveillance system to monitor communicable diseases. This study aimed to assess the performance of this surveillance system.
In this quantitative-qualitative study, performance of the communicable diseases surveillance system was assessed by using the updated guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Qualitative data were collected through interviews with the surveillance system participants, and quantitative data were obtained from the surveillance system.
The surveillance system was useful, simple, representative, timely, and flexible. The data quality, acceptability, and stability of the surveillance system were 65.6%, 10.63%, and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity and positive predictive value were not calculated owing to the absence of a gold standard.
The surveillance system satisfactorily met the goals expected for its setup. The data obtained led to the control of communicable diseases in the affected areas. Required interventions based on the incidence of communicable disease were designed and implemented. The results also reassured health authorities and the public. However, data quality and acceptability should be taken into consideration and reviewed for implementation in future disasters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:367–373)