(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hospitals don’t need to have experienced a mass catastrophe to effectively
prepare for one, according to research by the Ben-Gurion University of the
Negev, which in cooperation with the Health Ministry has developed a new
evaluation model for assessing Israeli hospitals’ emergency preparedness. In
fact, inexperience may even be an advantage.
The model, published
recently in the American Journal of Medical Quality, used 306 predetermined and
measurable benchmarks to evaluate 24 acute care Israeli hospitals in four
As yet, there is no widely accepted, validated tool for evaluating
hospital emergency preparedness in Israel or in the US, according to Dr. Bruria
Adini of BGU’s department of emergency medicine, who is also affiliated with the
ministry’s emergency and disaster management division. The goal was to
investigate the effect of ongoing use of an evaluation system on hospitals’
preparedness for natural or man-made disasters.
In the study, two full
evaluation cycles were conducted in 24 hospitals, from 2005 to 2006 and a second
from 2007 to 2009, during which all parameters were evaluated. Following the
first evaluation cycle, the hospitals implemented various Quality Improvement
(QI) strategies. As a result, a significant increase was found in the total
scores between the first and second cycles, from 77 percent to 88.5%.
ongoing assessment of emergency preparedness motivates hospitals management and
staff to improve capabilities, Adini explained. All hospitals, even those with
limited or no experience in managing mass casualty events, can benefit from
standards defined in the evaluation process and thus achieve a high level of
emergency preparedness.Torah & lifesaving
Students at hesder
yeshivot (that combine military service with Talmud study) around the country
decided not to go on their three-week vacation for the High Holy Days, and
instead to take an emergency medics’ course at Magen David Adom.
students, who all were MDA volunteers before they reached 18, will soon become
professional medics able to volunteer on MDA mobile intensive care units and and
regular ambulances – most in the periphery of the country. They have committed
themselves to work once a week as medics and to come at any time in emergencies
to save lives. The intensive three-week course, including 12 hours a day of
study, was held on the Kibbutz Sha’alavim hesder yeshiva campus.
Klein, a hesder graduate, initiator of the course and its personal counselor,
said he hoped the first course will be followed by many more.