Background: Effective preparedness for pandemic influenza necessitates acquisition and maintenance of vital equipment and infrastructure. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the level of hospital preparedness relating to infrastructure and equipment and performance of the hospital in an avian flu drill.
Methods: The levels of preparedness of the infrastructure and equipment for pandemic influenza of all 24 general hospitals were evaluated using a tool developed for this purpose. The hospital evaluation scores were then compared with the scores obtained by the hospitals in a simulated avian flu drill.
Results: The overall scores of equipment and infrastructure for pandemic influenza of general hospitals ranged from 67% to 100%. Comparison of the overall level of preparedness of equipment and infrastructure for pandemic influenza with the overall scores achieved in the avian flu drill revealed a medium correlation. A medium correlation was also found between stockpiling of medications and performance in the avian flu drill. No correlations were found between operating infrastructure, availability of protective measures and medical forms and performance in the avian flu drill.
Conclusions: This study has identified benchmarks of infrastructure and equipment required for managing a pandemic influenza event and evaluating the level of emergency preparedness of the hospital. The significant relationship between maintaining stockpiles of antiviral medications for patients and staff and performance in an avian flu drill emphasises its importance in the process of maintaining emergency preparedness for a pandemic influenza outbreak.
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