• The Application of a Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index to Assess National Pandemic and Other Mass Casualty Readiness

      Marcozzi, David E; Pietrobon, Ricardo; Lawler, James V; French, Michael T; Mecher, Carter; Baehr, Nicole E; Browne, Brian J (Wolters Kluwer Health, 2021-06-18)
      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This article describes the use and findings of the Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index (HMSPI) tool to improve the understanding of hospitals' ability to respond to mass casualty events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For this investigation, data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Dartmouth Atlas Project, and the 2005 to 2014 annual surveys of the American Hospital Association (AHA) were analyzed. The HMSPI tool uses variables from the AHA survey and the other two sources to allow facility, county, and referral area index calculations. Using the three data sets, the HMSPI also allows for an index calculation for per capita ratios and by political (state or county) boundaries. In this use case, the results demonstrated increases in county and state HMSPI scores through the period of analysis; however, no statistically significant difference was found in HMSPI scores between 2013 and 2014. The HMSPI builds on the limited scientific foundation of medical surge preparedness and could serve as an objective and standardized measure to assess the nation's medical readiness for crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and other large-scale emergencies such as mass shootings. Future studies are encouraged to refine the score, assess the validity of the HMSPI, and evaluate its relevance in response to future legislative and executive policies that affect preparedness measures. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives.