The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effect of intensive, interactive training on hospital workers’ preparedness for special pathogen cases by utilizing the Frontline Facility Special Pathogens Training Course created by the Systemwide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H). An 8 h course was offered in 2018 and 2019 to healthcare employees throughout the Department of Health and Human Services Region 2, mostly from NYC H+H. Evaluation included multiple-choice pre and post exams, a 26-question survey about level of preparedness before and after the training, and follow-up interviews focused on changes in facility protocols. As a result, 61% of survey respondents indicated that they had never previously attended a hospital-sponsored special pathogen training. After the training, there was a 53.3% report rate of feeling “very prepared,” compared to 14.6% before the training. Additionally, there was an 11% improvement in test scores. Furthermore, 77% of respondents reported that their facility had changed protocols relating to topics of the course after their training date. Survey participants reported general satisfaction with the course, as well as an increased level of preparedness for special pathogen cases. Together, the results of the exams, survey, and interviews suggest that this interactive, mixed-method training increases special pathogen preparedness across different healthcare sectors. With the ongoing threat of special pathogens, the need for continued training and maintaining a state of readiness is paramount in healthcare.
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