GNYHA has prepared this Mass Casualty Incident Response Toolkit to assist member hospitals with developing and improving their mass casualty response plans. Mass casualty incident (MCI) response is a critical focus area for GNYHA and its member hospitals. Over the past several years, GNYHA has led collaborative planning efforts related to MCI response in coordination with government response agencies and the health care community, resulting in the development of new communication protocols and structures, and targeted training and programming. This toolkit organizes and synthesizes much of the information developed via these collaborative processes, as well as emerging best practices from intentional attacks that have occurred within the United States and internationally.

MCIs and Toolkit Overview

In the New York region, MCIs occur frequently, with the majority of these incidents producing only a few patients. However, MCIs that result in large numbers of patients, including critical patients with life-threatening injuries, have the potential to quickly overwhelm area hospitals. Hospitals must be prepared to effectively and efficiently respond to such incidents while continuing to meet the needs of other patients.

The toolkit includes suggested preparedness and response actions for the many clinical and non-clinical departments that would be involved in an MCI response, and related training, drills, and exercises. While patient care is the priority, the toolkit emphasizes the importance of planning and developing protocols and processes for additional activities, including patient registration and tracking, family reunification, and coordination with external entities. If these non-patient-care activities are not thought through in advance, their impact can overwhelm a facility and compromise its ability to deliver life-saving care.

How to Use the Toolkit

The toolkit can be used in many ways to advance internal MCI response planning, including:

  • Discussing the contents of the toolkit at an upcoming Emergency Management Committee meeting
  • Reviewing the toolkit to identify and address existing gaps in internal plans
  • Using sections of the toolkit to inform planning meetings with key clinical and non-clinical departments
  • Adapting response aids found in Appendix A for use within your facility
  • Modifying scenarios provided in Appendix L to develop unit-based and facility-based exercises

For questions about the Mass Casualty Incident Response Toolkit and related initiatives, or to request a hard copy of the toolkit, please contact Jenna Mandel-Ricci.