Nursing Homes in Public Health Emergencies: Special Needs and Potential Roles   [open pdf - 320KB]

Alternate Title: Focus Group Discussions of Disaster Planning at Nursing Homes

"The events of September 11th and the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina demonstrate the impact of such events on the public health infrastructure and the importance of emergency preparedness activities. In addition, the reality of bioterrorism, as exemplified by the anthrax cases reported in the U.S., underscores the importance of preparing for possible bioterrorist attacks. To date, most health care preparedness planning efforts are focused on hospital and first responder preparedness. Nevertheless, we know that the elderly population is particularly vulnerable to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies due to their complex physical, medical and psychological needs. The potential role and question of preparedness on the part of nursing homes has emerged in local and national preparedness discussions. However, we have little understanding of the extent to which nursing homes have planned for and/or been incorporated into regional planning efforts (Saliba et al., 2004; Dosa et al., 2003; Helget et al., 2002). To address this issue, a series of focus groups were conducted to collect information about disaster and bioterrorism related planning activities among nursing homes in five States-North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Utah-and Southern California. […] The focus group discussions included topics such as the level of preparedness activities, special needs of nursing home environments/populations, ability to accept transfers, provide basic medical care and other support, and the influence of State regulations on disaster planning. Using a convenience sampling strategy, RTI used its Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) partners to assemble the focus groups."

Report Number:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ Publication No. 07-0029-1
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/
Media Type:
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