Conceptual Framework for Understanding Incident Management Systems During Public Health Emergencies

Published in: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (2022). doi: 10.1017/dmp.2022.77

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 2022

by Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Holly Fisher, Jalal Awan, Adriana Rico, Tracy Thomas, Dale Rose, Sara Vagi, Leecresia Jenkins, Christopher Nelson

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Objective

Effective incident management is essential for coordinating efforts of multiple disciplines and stakeholders when responding to emergencies, including public health disasters such as the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods

Existing research frameworks tend to focus on formal structures and doctrine (eg, ICS-NIMS); however, organizational processes that underlie incident management have not been systematically assessed and synthesized into a coherent conceptual framework.

Results

The lack of a framework has hindered the development of measures of performance that could be used to further develop the evidence base and facilitate process improvement. To address this gap, we present a conceptual framework of incident management drawn from expert feedback and a review of literature on incident management and related fields. The framework features 23 measurement constructs grouped into 5 domains: (1) situational awareness and information sharing, (2) incident action and implementation planning, (3) resource management and mobilization, (4) coordination and collaboration, and (5) feedback and continuous quality improvement.

Conclusions

As such, the article provides a first step toward the development of robust measures for assessing the performance and effectiveness of incident management systems.

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