DVATEX: Navy medicine’s pioneering approach to improving hospital emergency preparedness

Mary W. Chaffee, ScD(h), MS, RN, CNAA, FAAN, Shauneen M. Miranda, RN, MS, MPA, Robert M. Padula, MHA, BS, CHE, PC, Mark R. Lauda, MS, BS, John E. Skelly, BS, EMT-P, Neill S. Oster, MD, Randall A. Bright, BS


The level of emergency preparedness considered adequate for hospitals prior to the events of 9/11 is no longer sufficient. To analyze and improve emergency preparedness in Navy healthcare facilities, the US Navy Medical Department has established the Disaster Preparedness, Vulnerability Analysis, Training and Exercise (DVATEX, pronounced ‘dee-va-tex’) program. The four-stage program includes a hospital or clinic self-assessment, a site visit to each Navy hospital and clinic (during which a team of emergency preparedness experts trains staff, performs a vulnerability analysis, and conducts an exercise of the facility’s emergency management plan), development of an after-action report, and ongoing support to improve preparedness (Figure 1). In its first year, the DVATEX program has been successful in identifying hospital vulnerabilities, applying remedies, and developing long-term plans to improve preparedness.



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2004.0009


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