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Preparation for a public health emergency

Vinay Pathak

Objectives: The early COVID-19 epidemic undoubtedly impacted the critical response readiness of healthcare staff due to their increased infection risk and exhaustion. We wanted to know how institutional and individual characteristics affected how prepared people were to act during the initial stages of a public health emergency.

Methods: In the second and third months of the COVID-19 outbreak in Portugal, we conducted a survey of healthcare professionals from a Local Health Unit in Portugal, which includes primary healthcare facilities and hospital services, including intensive care units and public health units. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regressions were used to examine the 460 responses, which were submitted by 252 individuals. We calculated the preparedness and willingness to respond adjusted odds ratios.

Results: The perception of adequate infrastructures, a lack of access to personal protective equipment, and organization were all related to response readiness. The perception of not being able to change things, the possibility of experiencing burnout at work, and witnessing the deaths of coworkers or patients due to COVID-19 were all related to the willingness to act.

Conclusions: It may be essential for workers' readiness in a new public health emergency to have adequate infrastructures, access to personal protective equipment, and knowledge of their duties and predicted effects. When preparing for future public health catastrophes, healthcare institutions must take into account these issues as well as the possibility of burnout associated to the workplace.

协会、社团和大学的同行评审出版 pulsus-health-tech