A long-term care facility pandemic influenza preparedness planning assessment tool


  • Philip W. Smith, MD
  • Keith Hansen, BS
  • Harlan Sayles, MS
  • Brendan Brodersen
  • Sharon Medcalf, RN, MEd




pandemic, influenza, preparedness, long-term care facility


Objectives: To assess qualitative aspects of longterm care facility (LTCF) preparedness programs and to test the utility of a LTCF pandemic preparedness Tool.
Design: A Tool was developed and weighted with input from various subject matter experts.
Setting: LTCFs.
Participants: LTCF preparedness programs.
Interventions: A 61-question Tool was used in facilities.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence of pandemic preparedness elements was assessed, and total Tool scores were calculated and graphed.
Results: The Tool results were used to assess overall preparedness and specific preparedness measures in LTCFs. Results suggested that LTCFs that are engaged in planning are addressing many but not all key plan details. LTCFs scored better on plan elements rated as most important (eg, does the LTCF designate an individual in charge during a disaster?) than on all pooled plan elements. The LTCF preparedness Tool score correlated positively with both facility size and whether the facilities had exercised their plan.
Conclusions: Most LTCFs had developed a number of aspects of a preparedness program, but additional preparedness measures remain to be implemented. The LTCF should focus on the identified key plan elements and exercise their plan before a disaster occurs.

Author Biographies

Philip W. Smith, MD

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Keith Hansen, BS

Center for Preparedness Education, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Harlan Sayles, MS

Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Brendan Brodersen

Center for Preparedness Education, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Sharon Medcalf, RN, MEd

Center for Preparedness Education, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.


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How to Cite

Smith, MD, P. W., K. Hansen, BS, H. Sayles, MS, B. Brodersen, and S. Medcalf, RN, MEd. “A Long-Term Care Facility Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning Assessment Tool”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 6, no. 4, July 2011, pp. 219-30, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2011.0061.