RSS bericht

Abstract

Mystery patient drills using simulated patients have been used in hospitals to assess emergency preparedness for infectious diseases, but these drills have seldom been reported in primary care settings. We conducted three rounds of mystery patient drills designed to simulate either influenza-like illness (ILI) or measles at 41 community health centers in New York City from April 2015 through December 2016. Among 50 drills conducted, 49 successfully screened the patient–actor (defined as provision of a mask or referral to the medical team given concern of infection requiring potential isolation), with 35 (70%) drills completing screening without any challenges. In 47 drills, the patient was subsequently isolated (defined as placement in a closed room to limit transmission), with 29 (58%) drills completing isolation without any challenges. Patient–actors simulating ILI were more likely to be masked than those simulating measles (93% vs. 59%, p = 0.007). Median time to screening was 2 min (interquartile range [IQR] 2–6 min) and subsequently to isolation was 1 min (IQR 0–2 min). Approximately 95% of participants reported the drill was realistic and prepared them to deal with the hazards addressed. Qualitative analysis revealed recurring themes for strengths (e.g., established protocols, effective communication) and areas for improvement (e.g., hand hygiene, explaining isolation rationale). We conclude that mystery patient drills are an effective and feasible longitudinal collaboration between health departments and primary care clinics to assess and inform emergency preparedness for infectious diseases.