Regional emergency preparedness coalitions should broaden their participation to include more providers, particularly groups such as independent physician clinics and nursing homes, according to a study published by the Center for Studying Health System Change
The coalitions, which have been pushed by HHS as a foundation for emergency preparedness
, are designed to bring together a region for a coordinated response, but the study says the coalitions may be too focused on hospitals, according to the qualitative study of 10 community coalitions.
“Across sites, respondents consistently reported that hospitals and hospital-owned physician practices typically are much more involved in emergency-preparedness coalitions than other stakeholders, reflecting both the federal financial support hospitals receive for preparedness activities and their size, structure and resources,” the authors wrote. “Other stakeholders, particularly smaller and independent primary-care practices, could potentially contribute to preparedness efforts, but there are significant barriers to involving them in traditional coalitions in a sustainable way.”
The study suggests that incentives be created to get more stakeholders to join existing coalitions and build preparedness into activities providers already are pursuing.