203721 Organizational readiness in long-term care communities: Findings from a 3-year initiative

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:15 PM

Catherine J. OBrien, MPH, MA , Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, Evanston, IL
Saher F. Selod, MA , Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, Evanston, IL
In the wake of several large-scale disasters, there has been heightened recognition of the vulnerability of older adults in long-term care (LTC) residences to such events. The PREPARE Continuing Education Program for Long-Term Care is a federally funded disaster readiness initiative designed to address the need for geriatric-specific disaster preparedness training. In the three-year grant period, over 1,000 LTC providers from 50 states participated in train-the-trainer workshops and conference seminars. Those providers have in turn, trained an additional 16,489 providers within their respective organizations.

Evaluation: Three surveys were developed to assess the initial level of preparedness within participating organizations and evaluate the impact of the PREPARE program within these organizations: (1) baseline survey; (2) post-workshop survey; and (3) post-program implementation survey.

Results: An analysis of the data collected thus far yields two sets of findings to be discussed in this presentation: 1) an examination of the baseline surveys reveals overall strengths and weaknesses in organizational readiness in a national sample of 386 nursing homes, and 2) an analysis of the three surveys measuring program impact suggest that the PREPARE program has had a meaningful impact on the level of disaster preparedness among participating organizations in the following areas: disaster plan components, community linkages and collaborations, emergency response exercises.

In addition to providing an overview of these findings, this presentation will include a discussion of the challenges and barriers to improving the ability of LTC staff to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster or public health emergency.

Learning Objectives:
1. List five specific areas of strength and of weakness in long-term care community disaster plans. 2. Identify three barriers to preparedness in long-term care communities. 3. Describe a national initiative to train long-term care providers.

Keywords: Aging, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an MPH in Public Health/Epidemiology. I served as Project Director for a federally-funded three year initiative to train long-term care staff for disasters. I have presented on disaster preparedness for long-term care at numerous state and national conferences, including AAHSA, GSA and NACCHO. I have published several articles on disaster preparedness in long-term care, most recently in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. I am also a doctoral student in Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.