Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Donald McLellan


AbstractMaintaining preparedness for a disaster is a patient and provider safety issue that is often not a priority for hospital planning; however, the inability to implement and evaluate disaster/emergency preparedness programs may render hospitals and the overall healthcare system fragile and dysfunctional amidst such crises. Priorities such as emergency-department overcrowding and lack of funding emerge daily and contribute to the inability of hospitals to respond appropriately to unexpected events. This study was conducted with the aim to assess the correlation between disaster/emergency preparedness and related problems, policy, and politics. A cross-sectional survey design was used to determine whether problems, policy, and politics perceived by Tennessee acute-care hospital nurses predicted the disaster/emergency preparedness of their hospitals. A multiple linear regression model was applied to assess the effects of disaster/emergency problems, policy, and politics on disaster/emergency preparedness. A regression equation was created with respect to problems, policy, and politics predictor variables with age, gender, education, and location used as confounding variables. The results of the study revealed that policy (β = 0.41, p =.01) and politics (β = 0.26, p =.02) were related to disasters/emergencies, and these two significant variables can be used to predict disaster preparedness. In summary, disaster/emergency policy and politics predict preparedness within healthcare settings, including hospitals. These findings are suggestive of the urgent need for social change to require, develop, and implement a statewide hospital and overall standardized healthcare disaster/emergency-preparedness system with surveillance and monitoring for indicators of occurrence.

Included in

Public Policy Commons