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Patient tracking in earthquake emergency response in Iran: A qualitative study

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Nahid Tavakoli1, Mohammad H Yarmohammadian1, Reza Safdari2, Mahmoud Keyvanara3

 

1 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

 

2 Health Information Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

 

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

 

Corresponding Author: Mohammad H Yarmohammadian, Email: yarmohamadian@mng.mui.ac.ir

 

© 2017 World Journal of Emergency Medicine

 

DOI: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920–8642.2017.02.002

 

BACKGROUND: After a disaster, all victims have to be rapidly and accurately identified for locating, tracking and regulating them. The purpose of this study was to summarize people's experiences that how the patients were tracked in past earthquake disasters in Iran.

METHODS: A qualitative study was carried out in 2015. This was an interview-based qualitative study using content analysis. The interviewed people included physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians, disaster managers, Red Crescent Society' first responders and managers. Participants were identified using a snow ball sampling method. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, coded, and entered into MAXQDA (version 10) for coding and content analysis.

RESULTS: Three main themes and seven categories including content (recoding data), function (identification of victims, identification of the deceased, informing the patients' relatives, patients' evacuation and transfer, and statistical reporting), technology (the state of using technology) were identified that showed the patient tracking status in past earthquakes in Iran.

CONCLUSION: Participants believed that to identify and register the data related to patients or the dead, no consistent action plan was available. So developing a consistent patient tracking system could overcome this issue and improve patient safety.

(World J Emerg Med 2017;8(2):91–98)

 

KEY WORDS: Patient tracking; Emergency response; Qualitative study; Earthquake

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