A position paper on improving preparedness and response of health services in major crises
Hall, Ian M.
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There exists a huge variety in the occurrence and characteristics of major incidents. Incident management stakeholders and in particular emergency health service providers have to deal with two basic challenges: The disproportion between the needs and the available human/material resources in the response capacity and the inherent time constraints of an emergency. These critical factors play a seminal role in the decision-making process during a crisis event, which affects all levels of command & control (strategic, operational, and tactical). The drawback with current health emergency management systems lies with the command & control operations that should coordinate the actions of the separate services and turn them into an effective, multi-faceted crisis response mechanism. IMPRESS improves the efficiency of decision making in emergency health operations, which has a direct impact on the quality of services provided to citizens. Furthermore it provides a consolidated concept of operations, to effectively manage medical resources, prepare and coordinate response activities, supported by a Decision Support System, using data from multiple heterogeneous sources. The proposed solution facilitates communication between Health Services (and Emergency Responders) at all levels of response and the crisis cycle with the necessary health care systems support, supervision and management of participating organizations. It will assist health services in becoming more proactive, better prepared and interoperable with other emergency response organizations.