Victorian Department of Health provides general practices access to ERPT

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The Victorian Department of Health funded a project to provide general practices in Victoria access to the Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) – survey results

The emergency response planning tool (ERPT) equips general practices to respond to all types of emergencies, to remain operational, and help meet potential surge in demand for healthcare during and after an emergency.

The project was established with the aim of building emergency response capability and resilience.

Through this project, the department is providing Victorian general practices the opportunity to access the Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) to develop a site-specific emergency response plan.

The department has worked closely with the Victorian Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Healthpoint ANZ to promote the ERPT project to general practices across Victoria. All PHNs with the exception of South Eastern Melbourne PHN have participated in communicating with general practice about the project.

The emergency response planning tool (ERPT) equips general practices to respond to all types of emergencies

Theory of Change

Fund access to an emergency response planning tool for general practice

Increase the number of practices that have a completed emergency response plan

Increase staff capability and confidence
Increase ability for practice to recover and continue to operate

Increase number of practices able to operate and meet surge demand for health services

The Department of Health sent out a survey to all participating GP practices to get feedback on use and applicability.

Survey Results

Primary Health Network Total practices No. using ERPT
Eastern Melbourne PHN 442 138
North Western Melbourne PHN 550 182
South Eastern Melbourne PHN 477 50
Gippsland PHN 96 43
Murray PHN 209 96
Western Victoria PHN 213 97
Total 1987 606

Table 1. Total general practices by PHN and number using ERPT through this project.

Approximately 54% (329) have successfully completed and published an emergency plan to date. This means that these practices have a robust emergency response plan in place that is accessible from anywhere. Practices only need to review the content and update their plan at regular intervals to ensure it remains up to date.

A further 36% (223 practices) have started to develop an emergency response plan but are yet to complete and publish their plan.

Participating practices are located:

Metropolitan Melbourne 54.2%
Regional city 16.0%
Rural Victoria 29.8%

Factors that led practice to participate in ERPT:

Accreditation 90.1%
Fire 21.4%
Flood 7.6%
Pandemic 43.5%
Cyber attack 17.6%
Other 12.2%

Practices overwhelmingly found the tool useful.

Extremely useful 51 41.5%
Very useful 57 46.3%

They liked the comprehensive nature of the tool, the way it brings everything together in one place and that it is easy to use.

Practices felt more confident to handle/deal with emergencies.

To what extent has your confidence to respond to an emergency increased as a result of using the ERPT to prepare an emergency response plan?

A great deal 29.4%
Quite a lot 42.9%

Has your practice used the emergency plan in an emergency?

Yes 31%

What type(s) of emergency event(s) were you responding to?

Pandemic 78.05% 32 answered

Would you/your practice like to continue to use the ERPT?

Yes 98% 118 answered