The objective of this study was to assess caregiver perception and satisfaction of a regional disaster drill in a pediatric emergency department (ED).
Caregivers of children receiving care during a 2-hour disaster drill were given a survey regarding perceived importance of the drill, waiting time to see a physician, service timeliness, impact on comfort, and overall recommendation of the ED. As a control, the survey was also given to caregivers a week before and after the drill.
Caregivers on the drill date were more likely to consider drill conduction to be highly important (100% vs 82.9%, P < 0.045). Compared with the drill date, there were no significant differences in the perceived duration of waiting, impact on care, or likelihood to recommend the ED to others.
In a single regional disaster drill, we found that caregivers feel that disaster drills are important and unlikely to impact care of children negatively. These findings can help support decision making by hospital administrators to commit personnel and resources to conduct necessary disaster drills involving children.