Objective: This project evaluated New York (NY) hospitals outside of New York City (upstate) for their awareness and utilization of the NY State Department of Health Pediatric and Obstetric Emergency Preparedness Toolkit (toolkit) and presence of pediatric emergency preparedness planning elements.
Methods: A survey assessing toolkit awareness and utilization was distributed to all 145 upstate NY hospitals. Quantitative survey data were analyzed using summary statistics, χ2 analysis, and odds ratios (OR) in aggregate, by hospital size, and by presence of pediatric medicine/surgery, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and/or neonatal ICU (NICU) beds (pediatric beds).
Results: Of the 145 hospitals, 116 (80%) completed the survey; 86% of these had reviewed the toolkit. Most had staff clinicians with pediatric expertise, but fewer had appointed pediatric clinical (physician or nurse) coordinators. Hospitals with at least one pediatric bed were more than 2.5 times more likely to have an emergency management plan (EMP) for pediatric patients (P =. 0223) and nearly 8 times more likely to have appointed a pediatric physician coordinator (P <. 0001) than were hospitals without pediatric beds. Appointment of a pediatric clinical coordinator was significantly associated (P <. 001) with presence of various pediatric emergency plan elements (OR range: 3.06-15.13), while staff pediatric clinical expertise or toolkit review were not.
Conclusions: Appointment of at least one pediatric clinical coordinator and the presence of one or more pediatric beds were significantly associated with having developed key EMP pediatric elements. Further research should examine barriers to pediatric clinical coordinator appointment and explore the awareness that pediatric patients may arrive at nonpediatric hospitals during a disaster with no option for transfer.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:138–145)