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The Hospital Incident Command System: Modified Model for Hospitals in Iran


Effectiveness of hospital management of disasters requires a well-defined and rehearsed system. The Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), as a standardized method for command and control, was established in Iranian hospitals, but it has performed fairly during disaster exercises. This paper describes the process for, and modifications to HICS undertaken to optimize disaster management in hospitals in Iran. In 2013, a group of 11 subject matter experts participated in an expert consensus modified Delphi to develop modifications to the 2006 version of HICS. The following changes were recommended by the expert panel and subsequently implemented: 1) A Quality Control Officer was added to the Command group; 2) Security was defined as a new section; 3) Infrastructure and Business Continuity Branches were moved from the Operations Section to the Logistics and the Administration Sections, respectively; and 4) the Planning Section was merged within the Finance/Administration Section. An expert consensus group developed a modified HICS that is more feasible to implement given the managerial organization of hospitals in Iran. This new model may enhance hospital performance in managing disasters. Additional studies are needed to test the feasibility and efficacy of the modified HICS in Iran, both during simulations and actual disasters. This process may be a useful model for other countries desiring to improve disaster incident management systems for their hospitals.

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