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Hospital Incident Command System - Welcome!



Since its inception in the late 1980’s the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) has served as an important emergency management foundation for hospitals in the United States and worldwide.

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is the sponsor and copyright holder of the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) 2014 Guidebook. This Fifth Edition has been expanded to meet the needs of all hospitals, regardless of their size, location or patient care capabilities.

As a system applied both nationally and internationally, there is much research and data to collect on the use of HICS. EMSA is pleased to present a new topic on the HICS 2014 Website entitled ADDITIONAL HICS RESOURCES AND REFERENCES. This  link will take you to EMSA’s initial collection supporting HICS implementation worldwide.

At the top of the list is a Case Study by EMSA’s former Disaster Medical Services Division Chief, Lisa Schoenthal. Ms. Schoenthal coordinated the development of the 2006 release of HICS and was project sponsor of the current national model of HICS released in May, 2014. In her thesis, Ms. Schoenthal lists six critical factors that lead to successful implementation of HICS based on Stanford Medicine’s use of HICS and response to the Asiana plane crash of 2013.

Also presented on the ADDITIONAL HICS RESOURCES AND REFERENCES is an article (of which Ms. Schoenthal is amongst the contributing authors) by clinical researcher, Ahmadreza Djalali, about Iran’s 2007 adoption of HICS.

If you are interested in finding out more about HICS or are looking for HICS training in your area, visit the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS accessed from the HICS 2014 Website.

This HICS 2014 Guidebook and the accompanying HICS tools should be considered “living documents.” That is, as hospitals adopt these new materials, no doubt additional best practices and lessons learned will be considered. Consequently, recommendations will evolve and lead to the next HICS update.

As a commitment to improve hospital response to healthcare needs during disasters and other medical emergencies, EMSA encourages feedback on the current use of HICS and other portions of the Toolkit. Informative documents, presentations, adaptations, articles, suggestions, and lessons learned from the use of HICS may be addressed to



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