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The ability of an HCO to optimally manage its resources and to integrate with the larger response community is driven by its Emergency Management Program (EMP). HCO Incident Command: As an incident unfolds, the HCO incident management team must rapidly transition from reactive to proactive management by establishing HCO incident objectives and setting an overall HCO strategy for response. HCO Planning Section: The development of incident action plans (IAPs) and support plans allows the HCO incident management team to remain proactive, even as the incident parameters change. In this document, an HCO is any hospital, integrated healthcare system, private physician office, clinic, nursing home or other skilled nursing facility, or other resource that may provide point-of-service medical care.
The success of an incident response, therefore, depends in part on how well these and other point-of-service healthcare organizations (HCOs)[2] are managed and their ability to coordinate with other response agencies.


The EMP includes all activities undertaken by the HCO to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from potential hazards. Information will have to be obtained from both inside and outside the HCO to conduct adequate response planning.
Likewise, a well-defined information function that is always operational (even at a minimal baseline during times of non-response) allows an HCO to rapidly process and disseminate vital incident- related data to divisions within the HCO and to outside responders.
In a major emergency or disaster, however, EMS may provide definitive medical care in the field and should be integrated into Tier 1.
An integral component of the EMP is the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which defines the management structure and methodology to be used by an HCO during emergency response.


A defined management structure that specifies roles for HCO personnel facilitates internal organization and external integration.
The EOP is critically important because it also describes the management processes that enable the HCO to coordinate its actions with other responders.




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