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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2013 Sep-Oct;19 Suppl 2:S77-83. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31828ecd84.

Impact of emergency preparedness exercise on performance.

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Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether prior participation in preparedness exercises was predictive of better performance on objective measures of response. We conducted a statewide tabletop exercise that focused on a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) scenario and assessed performance using our developed evaluation tool. The evaluative score was analyzed in relation to the number of HAZMAT exercises in the past 3 years, participation in prior CHEMPACK-specific exercise, hospital size, teaching status of the hospital, preparedness training experience, and participants years of experience in preparedness activities. Hospitals that had participated in more exercises in the past 3 years performed significantly better than hospitals that had participated in fewer exercises. No significant differences were found between the performance of hospitals in relation to size, teaching status, preparedness training experience, and participants' years of experience in preparedness activities. Our results suggest that more frequent participation in exercises may result in improved overall response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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