Low compliance of urgent care centers in the United States with recommendations for office-based disaster preparedness

Jennifer Dunnick, Robert Olympia, Robert Wilkinson, Jodi Brady-Olympia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives The aim of the study was to determine the compliance of urgent care centers in the United States with published recommendations for office-based disaster preparedness. Methods An electronic questionnaire was distributed to urgent care center administrators as identified by the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine directory. Results One hundred twenty-two questionnaires of the 872 distributed were available for analysis (14% usable response rate). Twenty-seven percent of centers have an established disaster plan for events that involve their establishment and surrounding community; 49% practice the plan at least once a year, 19% less frequent than once a year, and 32% never practice. Forty-seven percent of centers are familiar with designated emergency shelters and community evacuation plans. Seventeen percent of centers function as part of a surveillance system to provide early detection of any biologic/chemical/nuclear agents. Twenty-two percent of centers take part in local community and hospital disaster planning, exercises, and drills through emergency medical services and public health systems. Five percent of centers aid schools, child care centers, camps, and other child congregate facilities in disaster planning. Twenty-eight percent of centers have an assembled emergency/disaster kit, containing such items as water, first aid supplies, radios, flashlights, batteries, heavy-duty gloves, food, and sanitation supplies. Conclusions Areas for improvement in urgent care center disaster preparedness were identified, such as developing an office disaster plan that is practiced at least yearly, becoming familiar with designated emergency shelters and community evacuation plans, providing surveillance to detect potential acts of terrorism, assisting community organizations (hospitals, schools, child care centers, etc) in disaster planning, and assembling office emergency/disaster kits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


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