Building health care system capacity to respond to disasters: successes and challenges of disaster preparedness health care coalitions.
Introduction This research aimed to learn from the experiences of leaders of well-developed, -focused health care coalitions (HCCs), both the challenges and the successes, for the purposes of identifying common areas for improvement and sharing 'promising practices.' Hypothesis/Problem Little data have been collected regarding the successes and challenges of preparedness-focused HCCs in augmenting health care system preparedness for disasters. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of nine HCC leaders. Transcripts were analyzed qualitatively. RESULTS: The commonly noted benefits of HCCs were: community-wide and regional partnership building, providing an impartial forum for capacity building, sharing of education and opportunities, staff- and resource-sharing, incentivizing the participation of clinical partners in preparedness activities, better communication with the public, and the ability to surge. Frequently noted challenges included: stakeholder engagement, staffing, funding, rural needs, cross-border partnerships, education and , and grant requirements. Promising practices addressed: stakeholder engagement, communicating value and purpose, simplifying processes, formalizing connections, and incentivizing participation. CONCLUSIONS: Strengthening HCCs and their underlying systems could lead to improved national to disasters. However, despite many successes, coalition leaders are faced with obstacles that may preclude optimal system functioning. Additional research could: provide further insight regarding the benefit of HCCs to local communities, uncover obstacles that prohibit local disaster- capacity building, and identify opportunities for an improved system capacity to respond to, and recover from, disasters. Walsh L , Craddock H , Gulley K , Strauss-Riggs K , Schor KW . Building health care system capacity to respond to disasters: successes and challenges of disaster preparedness health care coalitions. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(2):1-10.
The audio recordings were transcribed by an online transcription service, and transcripts were analyzed qualitatively using QSR NVivo 10 qualitative analysis software
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of nine HCCleaders.
A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct faceto-face interviews with the coalition leadership in each of the nineHCCs.
Questions regarding hospital- and public-health- capabilities were derived from HPP and PHEP grant materials, and input on the questionnaire was sought and obtained from the ASPR National Health Care Preparedness Programs. The final survey was also pilot tested with a local HCC leader who was not a respondent in this study.
This research aimed to learn from the experiences of leaders of well developed, -focused health care coalitions (HCCs), both the challenges and the successes, for the purposes of identifying common areas for improvement and sharing ‘‘promising practices.’’
Due to the small study sample size, these findings may not begeneralizable to all -focused HCCs.While participants were very forthcoming in their responses to the interview questions, bias is often inherent in self-report interviews.
The commonly noted benefits of HCCs were: community-wide and regional partnership buildingproviding an impartial forum for capacity buildingsharing of education and opportunitiesstaff- and resource-sharingincentivizing the participation of clinical partners in activitiesbetter communication with the publicability to surge.Challenges are:stakeholder engagement, staffing, funding, rural needs, cross-border partnerships, education and ,grant requirements
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Office of Research (Rockville, Maryland USA), under protocol #381802-5.
Major topical areas covered in the interview guide included:the establishment and history of the coalitionstrengths and weaknesses of the HCC structurespecific challenges encountered in improving health care systems capabilities‘‘promising practices’’ to be shared with other coalition leaders. Questions
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