Hospital Preparedness Measures for Biological Hazards: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021 Dec;15(6):790-803. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.132. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


Background: Biological hazards are one of the most important and common types of hazards in emergencies and disasters. Hospital preparedness measures for biological hazards are essential for a proper response and mitigation of its effects. The aim of this systematic review is to investigate hospital preparedness measures for biological hazards.

Methods: For this research, electronic databases including Web of Science, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, ProQuest, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library from March 1950 to June 2019 were searched. Key words such as hospital, emergency department, preparedness, plan, management, and biological hazards were used in combination with the Boolean operators OR and AND. A thematic synthesis approach through the use of MAXQDA software was applied to analyze the data.

Results: In total, 5257 articles were identified, in which 23 articles meet the inclusion criteria for entering the process of final analysis. The findings showed three main administrative, specialized, and logistical issues regarding preparedness measures for biological hazards in hospitals.

Conclusion: Hospital preparedness for biological hazards is one of the most important hospital disaster plans. Results of this systematic review present valuable advice for policy-makers and hospital managers to prepare and enhance hospital performance against biological hazards.

Keywords: biological hazards; disasters; health services; hospital; preparedness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disasters*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hospital Planning*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans