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An Emergency Operations Plan for King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital
January 22, 2020
Emergency Operations Plans are an important component of public health emergency
preparedness. They are vital to mitigating the consequences of a disaster. The Emergency
Operations Plan (EOP) in King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital, Al-Jubail needs to
be revised and updated to better respond to and recover from emergencies. In this paper, is thus, a
proposed EOP model which contains five mission areas: protection, prevention, response,
mitigation, and recovery. These mission areas are defined and followed by an outline of planning
principles that feature a consideration of all potential hazards and threats, leadership, provision for
functional needs and access to resources, and the use of a collaborative procedure in EOP planning.
The principles are followed by instruction in the six steps of the planning process: forming a
collaborative planning team; identifying hazards and threats and risk assessment; determining
objectives and goals; developing an action plan; preparing, reviewing, and approving the plan; and
planning maintenance and implementation.
An Emergency Operations Plan for King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital
1.1 Background of Study
King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail takes a proactive role to
mitigate, respond to, and recover from any possible technological and natural hazards or terrorist
events. The Hospital is occasionally monitored to determine the occurrence or the potential
occurrence of an event that could result in an emergency or a disaster. King Abdulaziz Naval Base
Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail hopes to prevent emergencies as soon as they occur and to
facilitate an efficient and orderly response to and recovery from all emergencies and disasters.
These emergencies can be prevented with the use of an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which
is a tool that provides the processes and the structure that the organization uses to respond to and
initially recover from an event. This EOP is the response and recovery component of the hospital’s
Emergency Management Plan. While King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in AlJubail already has an EOP, there is a need to revise and update it to better respond to and recover
from emergencies, especially since the EOP was last updated five years ago.
King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital’s EOP is meant to be an all-hazards
plan and is designed to respond to all the emergencies that could affect hospital operations as
identified in the Hazards Vulnerability Analysis. The Emergency Operations Plan is established to
ensure that there are available personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources
required to continue with patient care during emergencies. Furthermore, the plan addresses
victims’ medical needs during emergencies. King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital’s
current Emergency Operations Plan is inclusive of the six critical elements of:
Staff responsibilities
Resources and assets
Security and safety
Clinical Supports services
It has been five years since King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital’s EOP was
last updated. Within this period, there have been several occurrences all over the world, including
the COVID-19 pandemic, landslides, wildfires, and even influenza surge. Specific to Saudi Arabia,
the COVID-19 pandemic, fires, the 2017 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak
which was first reported in 2017 and floods, are some of the incidents that have occurred within
the past five years. In the past, Saudi Arabia has seen disasters such as heavy rains, fire during
hajj, Jizan floods, Jeddah floods and Rift Valley Fever outbreak. Among other disasters to look
out for are technological hazards such as the breakdown of hospital equipment, disasters such as
terrorist attacks and major MVCs, natural disasters like floods, rains, and epidemics. All these
incidents have shown the need to constantly review and update the Emergency Operations Plan,
thus the following proposal.
1.2 Purpose Statement
The mission of King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail is to
improve people’s health in the society by providing quality health, cost-effective, and hospital
services consistent with this mission. The administration, medical staff, and the Governing Body
of King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail have established and provided
for ongoing support for an Emergency Management Program as conceived by the Hospital’s formal
Emergency Management Committee. However, there is a need to review this Emergency
Operations Plan and provide recommendations on how to improve it to meet the Hospital’s mission
and vision better. The current EOP has not been updated for five years. There is thus, a need to
assess, review, and update it since there have been various disasters, such as the ongoing novel
coronavirus and the 2017 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak, that have shown
the need to update the Emergency Operations Plan constantly to support pandemic illness
planning. Hospitals are currently required to identify outbreaks and implement effective isolation
and suspected cases quickly. This requirement calls upon the need to regularly update the
Emergency Operations Plan to accommodate for such emergency disasters.
The purpose of this proposal for the King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital
in Al-Jubail Emergency Operations Plan is thus, to define the Emergency Operations Plan, to
respond effectively to disasters that pose immediate threat and danger to the safety and health of
the staff, patients, and visitors. Its goal is to assemble a strong team of department representatives
whose early involvement in the plan will speed up the coordination of hospital assistance to
impacted areas of King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail. The
coordinated efforts of this team will supply and re-supply assets and resources that are necessary
for meeting the urgent needs that arise from disasters. They will work to coordinate all the crisis
management functions that are crucial to King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital’s
restoration and recovery.
This project aims to describe the response as well as the recovery process of the hospital
facility from all hazards such as uncontrolled fires, earthquakes, floods as well as bombing and
explosions. It entails the response to both internal emergencies, that is, situations that affect the
hospital staff and patients and external disasters that disrupt the hospital environments increasing
the demand for healthcare services. It will also give an outline of the need for the project, the
personnel in charge of the whole emergency process, the resources and activities to be carried out
as well as a description of the interaction between these activities to achieve maximum response
to the emergency. Furthermore, the methodologies utilized in the project completion will also be
documented. These methodologies include the conduction of interviews to look for views on the
Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) used within the Hospital under study as well as the various
recommendations on how it can be further improved for maximum disaster management.
1.3 Need for the Project
An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), is an essential requirement in the overall process
of disaster management, as outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This comprehensive approach to disaster management aids in the achievement of the maximum
patient and healthcare personnel safety as well as a timely return of the healthcare facility into its
pre-disaster level. Its main role is to give an outline of the responses as well as the recovery process
of the various healthcare facilities to all hazardous events. These disasters could affect hospitals
directly by damaging their buildings and disruption on the essential utilities such as power, or it
could result in mass effects within its surroundings hence increasing the demand for healthcare
Saudi Arabia is prone to various disasters, which include both natural and man-made
events. These include floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, uncontrolled fires, bombings as
well as dust and sandstorms (Pararas-Carayannis, 2013). The eastern province of the country, for
instance, is mainly affected by shifting dunes as well as dust storms which have a direct effect on
the people living within those environments especially those suffering from lung diseases as it
serves as an exacerbating factor. Dust storms also cause blurring of the environment hence
reducing visibility which results in increased cases of both traffic accidents and plane crashes. This
will, in turn, increase the demand for healthcare services in the healthcare facilities in that region.
Bioterrorists attacks such as explosions and bombing are also prevalent in some parts of the
country with some being targeted on the healthcare facilities hence affecting the healthcare
personnel, patients as well as an overall disruption in the healthcare provision process.
The prevalence of the above disasters in the country necessitates a well-formulated EOP
within King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital. The six elements within the Joint
Commission’s Emergency Management Standards should be incorporated during the document
formulation. These key elements include- “communication, resources and assets, security and
safety, hospital staff responsibilities, utilities as well as various clinical support activities” to
facilitate the coordination of the overall response to the emergency (Canton, 2019). They are
necessary as they enhance accountability and the ease of the EOP. Moreover, the various phases
of the Emergency Management Cycle, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery,
should be considered during the EOP formulation. The reason for this is that these phases are vital
to making plans, identifying, and providing resources to protect people from hazards. A systematic
approach would be to treat each of the four actions as one phase of a comprehensive process, with
each phase building on the accomplishments of the preceding one so as to achieve the overall goal
of minimizing the impact caused by emergencies. The formation of the EOP should also be based
on the national standards as well as a systematic analysis of the various disasters that show
prevalence within the region. These two considerations, coupled with collaboration and the four
phases of the emergency cycle are key for the effectiveness of an EOP. They are necessary for the
achievement of the main goals and objectives of the hospital EOP, which are to ensure effective
preparation and management of disasters and to restore hospital operational capacities to normalcy.
The functions of the EOP include:
1. The assignment of the various roles to the health organization, including the healthcare
providers, should be carried out in the cases of emergencies exceeding their capacities.
2. Description of how the various activities will be coordinated to achieve its goals and
3. Description of how disaster victims will be provided with safety and security in cases
of disasters. It also outlines the various property protection measures.
Identification of the resources, the disaster management personnel, and the essential
equipment and alternate sources for supplies to be utilized in the response and recovery
The fulfillment of the above-outlined roles, goals, and objectives of the hospital Emergency
Operations Plan substantiates the need for an effective scheme that ensures proper management
and response to various health emergencies. The ultimate result of the EOP is attention to national
standards, four phases of the emergency management cycle, systematic analysis of hazards, and
collaboration. Together, these considerations will result in the formulation of an efficacious
approach to any future emergencies thus, facilitating early prevention of their effects on disaster
victims, the healthcare staff, and the overall health organization.
Emergency preparedness is mandatory for numerous situations in day to day operations of
King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail. Without it, it would be
impossible for the hospital to lessen the threat posed by emergencies. As such, it should find ways
of using the resources at its disposal to prepare for and handle possible threats to the hospital, its
personnel, and other people within it. According to the National Academies of Sciences (2007),
an analysis of various emergencies such as tsunamis and earthquakes shows that although proper
planning may be done, it is still possible not to respond to and recover from emergencies. World
Health Organization Director Dr. Michael Ryan provided much-needed insight into how planning
in the Emergency Operations Centers affects the proper handling of a disaster (Ryan, 2013) . The
most important thing is that the success of the disaster management operations is dependent on
how well prepared the organizations involved are and the level of cooperation they have (Ryan,
These centers usually bring various professionals with expertise in different sectors and
from different organizations that have diverse ways of handling situations. These professionals are
then divided into small groups. They have to find a way to understand the current situation and
work out a way of allocating the scarce resources that they have. During an emergency, a hospital
is most likely already operating at full capacity, and is forced to take in more patients (Ryan, 2013).
The number of beds, pharmaceutical resources, and rooms available may be limited. It is also not
uncommon for the Hospital to be lacking a particular specialist who can treat various injuries
(Ryan, 2013).
Notably, the commonly used method of communication is verbal communication, which
presents another set of challenges. The presence of conflicting information could lead to confusion
which makes the situation worse (Ryan, 2013). Richard Oloruntoba, in his analysis of the
challenges to plans of the 2009 Victoria bushfires, describes how those handling the disaster were
distracted from the main problem and instead focused on a smaller problem that they were able to
define and handle more easily. The paper also points out how training tends to focus on making
people get to know how to handle and respond to a presumed threat. The primary focus here is the
response to the disaster, rather than making the process an investment into the future, for instance
by using previous disasters as a foreshadow and thereby being able to prepare for a wider range of
challenges (Oloruntoba, 2013). After conducting a study on Finland’s disaster management,
Kimmo Laakso and Jari Palomaki pointed out how poor communication can make the situation go
from bad to worse when handling a disaster. The main problems identified by this paper were poor
awareness of the situation and poor flow of information among those involved in disaster
management. The drills in which those involved were trained also failed to function as they should
have. Lack of communication at the time disaster struck and after also had consequences
(Palomaki, 2013).
This project seeks to ensure that in the operations of hospitals, the most important
philosophy of disaster management is observed: ensuring that every emergency is handed
efficiently especially when considering geographical and organizational demographics. This will
require improved communication systems, better planning and response of emergencies and
involvement and cooperation of all the stakeholders, especially those at the local level (The
Nationa academics of Sciences, 2007). This project looks at what it means for a hospital to
accommodate the changing situations, occurrences and threats by updating its EOP. The project
will clarify what makes hospital Emergency Operations Plans fail, and go a step further to find
new ways to handle emergencies. Coordination and planning between hospitals and other
important stakeholders, such as air medics to facilitate the patient transfer, will be highlighted.
Ways in which those in the same region can work together to find ways of dealing with sudden
increases in capacity includes training, to familiarize personnel with their responsibilities and to
acquire the skills needed to perform assigned tasks. Training, tailored towards personnel roles
when effectively responding to emergencies, should give thought to the future and how mistakes
made in previous emergencies can be avoided as well as the provision of important and scarce
resources such as personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals. When we look at the
training of hospital personnel to deal with disasters, a lot of progress has been made over the years,
but we need to look into new methods that can ensure the training is standardized and the
environment in which it is undertaken is open to further education and expansion (The Nationa
academics of Sciences, 2007).
Looking into Emergency Operations Plans especially in hospitals, is very important
because if a tragedy occurs, be it natural or human-made, this plan could be what determines the
extent to which individual lives in the community will be affected. Although some research has
been done in this area, very little focuses on the medical field. As highlighted above, there are
numerous challenges faced when individuals who don’t normally work together have to do so and
often; such situations are unplanned. Given the seriousness of the task they are assigned, it is
important that the planning and the systems they use work extremely well and that is what this
research paper is hoping to facilitate.
2 Literature Review
2.1 Introduction
Emergency management has been attributed to being among the most critical departments
in any organization that deals with and avoids risks, especially those that have catastrophic
repercussions for regions, communities, and entire countries (National Research Council; Mapping
Science Committee, 2007). Emergency management denotes the dynamic process of preparing
for, mitigating, reacting to, and recovering from an emergency. The concept deals with the
coordination and administration of the resources and activities for dealing with all humanitarian
aspects of emergencies. The primary aim of emergency management is to minimize the harmful
impact of all hazards, encompassing disasters. The section provides a comprehensive overview of
the emergency operations plan, its phases, elements, and the process of creating an emergency
response plan.
2.2 Components of Emergency Operations Plan
An Emergency Operations Plan is an evolving process considering that it is regularly
updated to accommodate the continuously changing situations, occurrences and threats. In
particular, recovery efforts are important, and thus getting employees back into the building safely,
communicating restrictions, and inviting qualified vendors to repair any physical damages must
happen quickly. Adini and Goldberg (2006) reveal that there are various components of the
emergency response plan comprising planning, training, drills, and coordination. Other elements
include communication, education, and technology (Adini & Goldberg, 2006). Planning entails
working through many possible scenarios as all unexpected events should be considered during
the development of the Emergency Operations Plan. Training involves conducting both situational
and classroom training to help the emergency response team to become confident, informed, and
prepared. Moreover, integrators responsible for installing emergency systems should actively
engage in educating security and management on the need for efficient and accurate use of the
installed systems. Moreover, coordination is a critical component that minimizes conflicts between
individual plans and systems, especially in buildings where there are multi-tenant organizations.
The approach is crucial in minimizing confusion during an emergency (Adini & Goldberg, 2006).
2.3 The Mission Area of Emergency Operations Planning
In their research, Huss et al., state that organization and emergency management provide a
comprehensive analysis of ways in which information and trust attribute to the level of
organizational preparedness for disasters. In their study, the investigators interviewed and
examined data on 227 organizations in Memphis. They analyzed data to assess the extent to which
these organizations used hazard-related insights to make relevant decisions. The overwhelming
majority of the organizations agreed that the information from these hazard-related insights were
both relevant and adequate (Huss, Sadiq, & Weible, 2012). Moreover, organizations under
investigation were also asked to identify their sources of information which they trusted for
assisting them in the preparation of disaster. The results reveal that more than half of organizations
in the region depended on the data for disaster management and that it was sufficient and effective.
The researchers further identified the various phases of emergency response planning which
comprised mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation is considered the most
inexpensive technique for minimizing the impacts of disasters. It involves the identification of
risks and the evaluation of hazards. Therefore, the higher the risk, the more crucial the need to
recognize disaster-specific threats through elimination attempts. Preparedness is the second phase
and encompass intermittent cycle of planning, organizing, equipping, exercising, evaluation,
training and improvement activities that allow an organization or Hospital to ensure effective
management and the improvement of efforts to deter, and safeguard, react to, and hence recover
from disaster events (Huss, Sadiq, & Weible, 2012).
2.4 The Process of Hazard Emergency Preparedness
Ncube and Chimenya (2016), on the other hand, studied hazard emergency preparedness
at Onandjokwe Lutheran Healthcare in Namibia, Africa. The investigators used both qualitative
and quantitative research techniques and about 120 people participated in the study with a response
rate of 75%. The study focused on analyzing the features of the hospital’s disaster system against
the current procedure in the healthcare organization. In particular, the results affirmed a moderate
insight into the actions and efforts to react to crises comprising disease outbreaks. Furthermore, it
was ascertained that positive attempts in threat preparedness were being integrated. Nevertheless,
the process needed readjustment, particularly in the lanes of training, infrastructure alignment, and
revisions to ensure the process is effective and relevant. The researchers provided a detailed
process involved in the Hospital’s disaster emergency preparedness encompassing developing
policy, examining vulnerability, planning for emergencies, training, and educating in addition to
monitoring and evaluation (Ncube & Chimenya, 2016).
Specifically, policy development is the first step and focuses on establishing long-term
goals by assigning tasks, recommending work practices, and determining criteria for decisionmaking. Vulnerability examination follows the policy development step and involves the
identification and prioritization of possible hazards impacting communities and offers a foundation
for the recovery approaches. Organizations or hospitals can then make informed decisions on
which risks to prioritize based on the limited available resources. The next step is planning for
disasters. Upon the development of policies and assessment of vulnerabilities, having a response
plan is critical in ensuring an effective and efficient response during an emergency. The
preparedness plan consists of the identification of potential emergency shelters, evacuation
frameworks and routes, training of personal for responding to the hazard as well as command and
communication procedures. In their research, Ncube and Chimenya, (2016) clarified that an
Emergency Operations Plan should comprise an agreed-upon set of activities that can be used to
prepare for, react to, and recover from emergencies. Training and education are also a crucial step
in the emergency management process. The phase encompasses equipping the emergency team,
empowering communities, and allowing them to engage in developing the emergency management
strategies and creating awareness on various types of hazards and where to seek help (Ncube &
Chimenya, 2016).
2.5 Challenges Associated with Emergency Operations Plans
Karagiannis and Synolakis (2017) substantiate the claims that disasters result in
overwhelming and unprecedented demands to affected societies and thus pose inherent challenges
that seem to complicate efforts reinforcing the response. The investigators delved into the
observation of 50 disaster activities whereby they recognized 20 crucial points in Emergency
Operation Planning which require improvements. As evidenced in numerous works of literature,
it is in such an environment of complexities, uncertainty, and time-constraints that EOP managers
are expected to create incident plans that address the various demands that are challenging for
emergency managers thereby poorly implementing the plans (Karagiannis & Synolakis, 2017).
The researchers sampled the most complex components of Emergency Operations Planning, which
constitute collecting of information from the field, response-generated demands, running
approximates of the incident, and mobilization time and resource capabilities. Other issues
comprise decision-making under tension and uncertainty and course of action development and
examination. The study further identified several good practices of incident planning which
included the fact that the process was iterative, and the planners revisited various steps in a back
and forth approach. Other good practices comprised intuitive and rational decision-making process
being used during the occurrence of the incidence and the production of better plans when
flexibility is integrated into the course of action to solve the expected developments of the issues
or in the decision-making scenarios (Karagiannis & Synolakis, 2017).
2.6 Recommendation: Best Practices of EOPs
As evidenced in the literature, planning for hazards, events, and threats have a substantial
impact on access to, and provision of healthcare services to the society. Hospitals have been
subjected to various requirements to ensure that they are adequately planning for emergencies.
Therefore, the emergency management program (EMP) should outline the process of
implementing emergency management guidelines of mitigation, preparedness, response, and
recovery. Moreover, the program should state the relevant authorities and initiative management
and administration. Hospital system planners should ensure the EMP is modified to integrate the
current and changing framework of requirements, threats, regulations, and hazards. In particular,
adhering to standards will assist the Hospital and other organizations to adequately and effectively
react to and recover from hazards in addition to cohesively working with emergency management
stakeholders. Therefore, the plan created should be inclusive and must be in line with the local
EOPs for information sharing and resource requests (World Health Organization (WHO), 2017).
To develop all-hazard plans, the planning process should include all engagement by all
involved hospital parties considering that effective planning ensures that the entire community is
involved and represented in the planning procedure. The approach can be attributed to the fact that
the most complete and logical plans are developed by a diverse planning group encompassing
representatives from all hospital departments. Involving the community through representatives
and community leaders empowers the society by reinforcing the expectations that the community
has a shared responsibility and strengthens the public morale to plan for themselves and their
organizations. It is also critical for the planning team to consider the flexibility element associated
with the plan which should be able to address both conventional and catastrophic events. This can
be done through scalable planning solutions that are likely to be executed and understood correctly
by the planning personnel. Consequently, planners should test if the crucial components are
adequately flexible by exercising them against possible events of varying magnitude and type
(World Health Organization (WHO), 2017).
3 Method
3.1 Participants
The target population in this study were within the hospital setting of King Abdulaziz
Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital in Al-Jubail. This setting was ideal since the goal of the study
was to revise and update the EOP of King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital to better
respond to and recover from emergencies. Purposeful recruiting was used to identify and confirm
the participation of emergency management coordinators have realistic insight, knowledge, and
familiarity of the emergency management activities of the hospital, which also extends to strategy
implementation and hazard mitigation planning. The resulting 37 participants, comprised of the
hospital management including the Hospital Director, the Disaster Coordinator, the medical and
the nursing director. The contact information of the participants were obtained from the emergency
management office. A chain-referral technique was then used to identify additional practitioners
initially not identified using the purposeful recruiting method. These participants were however,
not compensated since the budget was not available for true compensation. However, token of
appreciations in the form of gift cards and gift certificates were given to the participants.
3.2 Materials
One of the materials that was used in the study was questionnaires that were constructed by
the researcher. The questionnaires consisted of two parts. The first part of this phase focused on
the demographic characteristics of the people who answered the survey questions. These
characteristics include age, gender, their exact role, and the duration they have worked in the
hospital. The second part of the questionnaire was made up of questions regarding the risk issues
within the hospital, such as the availability of disaster managers, the types of resources devoted
for disaster management, the hospital’s overall level of disaster preparedness, and the challenges
faced in the implementation of the disaster management plans. The second section culminated in
a question that asked the respondents to provide a recommendation for improving the current EOP
of King King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital. Audit reports and surveys were also
used to help in the construction of interview questions for the participants.
3.3 Procedure
As shown in Figure 3.1, this study’s research process is divided into four distinctive procedures:
instructions to participants, ethical considerations, data collection and data analysis. This
methodology is illustrated diagrammatically in Figure 3.1. This approach was adopted to simplify
the entire research process.
Instructions to
What is the
study about?
and audit
Data Analysis
analysis and
Figure 3. 3. 1 Research Procedure
3.3.1 Instructions to Participants
In this process, the participants were told that the study was about reviewing and updating
the EOP of King Abdulaziz Naval Base Armed Forces Hospital. They were informed that updating
the current EOP was necessary so as to better respond to and recover from emergencies, especially
since the EOP was last updated in 2015.
3.3.2 Ethical Considerations
Each of the research participants were required to sign an informed consent that confirmed
their awareness of the whole research process and the main aim of the study. The decision of the
participant on whether to participate in the study was voluntary. Any participant who wished to
withdraw from the study was free to do so without any form of hindrance. Furthermore, all the
participants were granted equal participation opportunities regardless of their status within the
hospital. Confidentiality was also key. As such, the researcher was the only individual who
accessed the various responses from the participants. All participants who wished to remain
anonymous were also granted their wish.
3.3.3 Data Collection
Exploratory interviews consisting of semi structured, open-ended interview questions were
conducted. Since the Corona Virus pandemic limited the utilization of face-to-face interviews,
questionnaires were emailed to the respondents and the researcher followed up with telephone
interviews in the fall of 2020. This method was advantageous since it saved a lot of time and travel
expenses and it was convenient for both the researcher and interviewee. Semi-structured interviews
were used because of their highly flexible nature which allowed for further probing of the
participants, hence enabling the acquisition of adequate information. Open-ended questions made
up a greater percentage of the interview questions as they provided the respondents with a chance
to provide unrestrained responses – hence the acquisition of more detailed data. The participants
were also provided with an opportunity to give their overall views and recommendations at the
end of the interview. The collected information was then assessed for completeness as well as
consistency before data analysis.
The selection of this method of data collection was mainly based on its wide range of
advantages. These advantages include its extensive nature which allows for a thorough collection
of the essential information such as views and recommendations from the various participants
(Oltmann, 2016). Moreover, both the interviewee’s verbal and non-verbal could be gauged
throughout the interview process hence giving an insight into their feelings concerning the topic
under discussion. Non-verbal cues can be graded by assessing the extent in which the participant
maintains eye-contact, their facial expressions while answering certain questions, the posture
maintained during the interview process, and the level of attentiveness of the interviewee at the
course of the interview. A participant who maintains good eye-contact, for instance, portrays a lot
of involvement and interest in the topic under discussion (Schulz, 2012). Facial expressions
include occasional nodding which shows that the interviewee is paying attention, and putting on a
face that matches the point being expressed, for example, smiling to express enthusiasm.
Maintaining a good posture shows the participants level of confidence in their responses.
For this study, the procedure for grading non-verbal cues was based primarily on the
attentiveness of the interviewees. Two observation techniques were used to determine whether the
audience were attentive. The first technique was used to interpret the interviewees’ non-verbal
cues while the other technique was used to analyze the interview evaluations. In interpreting the
non-verbal cues, the first strategy was to look around the room. Fidgeting, yawning and
respondents slouching in their chairs indicated that they were not attentive (Bolderston, 2012).
Furthermore, attentiveness was gauged by how much the respondents interrupted the interviewee.
Getting few, if any interruptions was a great sign that the interviewees are attentive. On the other
hand, in analyzing the interview evaluations, attentive respondents answered the questions and
were willing to share their responses. Inattentive interviewees gave vague answers (Bolderston,
2012). A combination of these two observation techniques was thus, used to grade verbal and nonverbal cues.
Secondary data were then obtained from previous audit reports as well as other surveys
previously conducted on the health institution. A search on two databases: Google Scholar and
Ebscohost were used to retrieve audit reports and surveys on the best practices and considerations
to include in an Emergency Operations Plan.
Furthermore, using keywords such as EOP,
Emergency Operations Plan, recovery, mitigation, hazards, emergency preparedness, and hospital.
Boolean terms like “AND” and “OR” were used to enhance the search.
3.3.4 Data Analysis
Interviews are an example of qualitative research; hence the most commonly utilized forms
of data analysis include content analysis as well as narrative analysis (Belotto, 2018). The initial
step while conducting the data analysis was ensuring that the researcher was familiar with data
obtained from the interviews. The researcher then revisited the various research objectives while
trying to identify the various questions that could easily be answered by the data obtained from the
study. The data was then labelled for easier identification through coding using concepts such as
the positive and negative responses received concerning a particular question. This data was then
pooled into Microsoft excel for analysis.
Content analysis was mainly utilized in the analysis of the various responses from the
interviewees. This method was used to analyze the various information documented in the course
of the interview. This analysis tool was used in the determination of the presence of certain
concepts within the texts obtained from the various respondents. A narrative analysis method, on
the other hand, is focused on the information got from the various experiences shared by the
interviewees while answering the interview questions. This was applied to the additional
information obtained from further probing of the respondents.
Adini, B., & Goldberg, A. (2006). Assessing Levels of Hospital Emergency Preparedness.
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 21(6), 451-457. DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X00004192
Belotto, M. J. (2018). Data analysis methods for qualitative research: Managing the challenges of
coding, interrater reliability, and thematic analysis. The Qualitative Report, 23(11), 26222633.
Bolderston, A. (2012). Conducting a research interview. Journal of Medical Imaging and
Radiation Sciences, 43(1), 66-76.
Canton, L. G. (2019). Emergency Management: Concepts and strategies for effective programs.
John Wiley & Sons.
Huss, S. M., Sadiq, A.-A., & Weible, C. (2012). Organization and Emergency Management:
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