Preparedness of Tertiary Hospitals in Preventing Emerging Infectious Diseases

Authors

  • Phitchawan Laochaicharoenphon Graduate Student of Nursing Science program in Nursing Care for Patient with Infectious Disease and Infection Control, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Wanchai Lertwatthanawilat Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Akeau Unahalekhaka Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University

Keywords:

Preparedness, Tertiary hospitals, Emerging infectious diseases

Abstract

Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases are likely to increase. Hospitals should be prepared to prevent and control outbreaks. This descriptive research study aimed to investigate preparedness for preventing and controlling emerging infectious diseases in a tertiary hospital based on the thirteen aspects of preparedness by the World Health Organization. The sample included 49 chief infection control nurses from a tertiary hospital. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires developed by the researcher consisting of questions about the hospital’s preparedness for the preventing emerging infectious diseases. The content validity index of the instrument was .89. Data were collected during March to June 2017 with a response rate of 83.7% and then were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The results revealed that the tertiary hospital was most prepared in terms of isolation precautions (100%) followed by early recognition of emerging infectious diseases (98.6%), preparation of personal protective equipment (96.9%), transportation of patients (93.6%), environmental controls for aerosol-generating procedures (92.7%), occupational health of health care workers (88.8%), advice for family members and visitors (85.4%), triage area designation (83.7%), duration of infection control precautions and patient discharge (83.4%) and cohorts and special measures (79.7%). In contrast, the areas with the least level of preparedness were: placement of patients and spatial separation (78.6%), specimen collection (77.4%), and mortuary care of dead bodies (67.7%).

This research suggests that tertiary hospitals should be prepared to prevent and control emerging infections disease, especially with regards to standard placement of patients and spatial separation and having specific areas for storing specimens. Training should be provided on the collection and sending of the correct specimens for healthcare workers. Also there should be written guidelines for post-mortem examination, which will improve the quality of prevention and control of nosocomial infection. Further study should be conducted on the development of prevention measures, such as the development of the placement for care of patients with emerging infectious diseases to prevent and control infection as well as on the development of guidelines for mortuary care of dead bodies.

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Published

2021-09-20

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Section

Research Article