Introduction. The South Caucasus and Georgia are regarded as high-risk zones for war conflicts, because of geographic location. Emergency disaster preparedness plans must be in place, so that hospitals can cope with the increased number of casualties and provide effective medical treatment.
The objective of the study was to assess hospitals’ disaster preparedness in Georgia and identify the factors that influence it.
Materials and methods. As part of the quantitative research method, a survey of 50 top managers of six medical institutions in the regions bordering the separatist regions of Georgia was conducted.
Results. Emergency management is planned in hospitals. However, most of the respondents (71.4%) have not done emergency training and disaster management practices are not conducted (80%). Only half of the respondents (52%) indicated that there is a hospital emergency/disaster preparedness committee, which does not frequently hold regular meetings (79.6%). According to 64% of the respondents, the emergency/disaster committee of the hospital is not multidisciplinary and does not include qualified individuals from various directions. Many respondents agree that the hospital uses a triage system (98%) and has a documented method of patient tracking (82%). However, most of respondents said they do not have the ability to track patients transferred from their institution to another (70%) and the institution cannot control scheduled patients who are discharged during catastrophic situations (72%). The management of critical incidents was not adequately integrated into the emergency plan.
Conclusions. The results revealed a moderate level of crisis and disaster preparedness in hospitals. To improve the level of preparedness for crisis and disaster events, certain changes are advised to be made in hospitals. These results demonstrate a lack of interest in emergency management planning training. Special training is required to raise the awareness of hospital staff on the management of emergency situations.
Keywords: anti-crisis management, emergency disaster preparedness, crisis situations, healthcare system, Georgia.
Address for correspondence:
Medicine and Healthcare Management School, Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Georgia