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US hospitals not ‘adequately’ ready for subsequent pandemic, examine finds

US hospitals not 'adequately' prepared for next pandemic, study finds

A ten-year evaluation of hospitals’ preparedness for pandemics and different mass casualty occasions within the years previous to COVID-19 is warning that the nation’s well being care system might not be adequately ready for the following one. For the study, a crew of researchers from the College of Maryland Faculty of Medication and College of Maryland Medical Heart used a surge index instrument known as Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index (HMSPI) to attain knowledge from greater than 6,200 hospitals nationwide. 

The hospitals had partaken within the American Hospital Affiliation annual surveys. The crew additionally used census knowledge to find out inhabitants estimates in numerous cities and geographic service space and mixed it with the survey info to calculate the HMSPI rating. 

Metrics evaluated within the HMSPI included workers, provides, house corresponding to the full variety of beds that workers can deal with, and methods, together with a framework for enabling digital sharing of knowledge. 

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Whereas the crew discovered various levels of enchancment in some areas through the years, additionally they mentioned that the scores indicated “superb readiness had not but been achieved in any state earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Between 2005 and 2014, Montana skilled the most important enhance in HMSPI scores, with the smallest enhance famous in Nevada. The enhancements throughout the nation appeared to plateau within the closing yr of knowledge. 

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The crew concluded that “after greater than $5 billion of federal investments in catastrophe preparedness for the reason that 9/11 assaults, the nation’s hospitals and well being care methods proceed to battle with catastrophe readiness.”

The full results have been printed final month within the Journal of Healthcare Administration, in line with a information launch.

“That is simply the start line,” David Marcozzi, M.D., professor of emergency drugs at UMSOM and chief medical officer/senior vp at UMMC and examine lead writer, mentioned. “We have to higher perceive the power of our nation’s hospitals to save lots of lives in occasions of disaster.” 

Marcozzi mentioned follow-up analysis might contain knowledge from the COVID-19 pandemic to see how hospital preparedness impacted affected person consequence. 

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“This pioneering work is a wanted development that would permit for a clear evaluation of a hospital’s capacity to save lots of lives in a large-scale emergency,” Marcozzi mentioned. “The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that there’s nonetheless loads of room for enchancment within the capacity of our nation’s well being care system to triage and handle a number of sufferers in a disaster and that interprets into lives misplaced, unnecessarily. Our analysis is devoted to those that misplaced their lives in his tragedy and different mass casualty occasions. We will do higher.” 

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