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Challenges of Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) from Experts’ Perspectives: A Qualitative Research


  • Candidate in Health Management in Disaster, University of Medical Science, Isfahan, Iran
  • Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) is one of the most valid incident command systems for preparing and increasing efficiency of hospitals. With regard to hospitals’ key roles in Medical Incident Management, the present study aims at obtaining experts’ ideas for investigating challenges of establishment of HICS in Iran’s hospitals. Methodology: The present study is qualitative one conducted via the semi-structured interviewing method. Interviews were conducted on 23 experts selected from HICS in the Medical University, Red Crescent Society and Social Security Organization in 2016 so that after recording each interview, they were transcribed and, then, the raw data were reduced and organized via the content analysis technique. Results: According to findings of the present study, since the HICS is established based on the principles that ensure the effective deployment of resources on one hand and decrease the disorder in policy making and the operations of responding organizations, on the other hand, the point of view of most participants in this study showed that the HICS in Iran is not implemented properly. The studies showed that consistency of this system with existing management structure in hospitals cause internal and external barriers to its implementation. Conclusion: Based on the present results, the most important cases causing inefficiency of HICS in Iran are as follows: complete lack of understanding of HICS’s components and features, lack of adequate training of the staff, and lack of localization HICS in Iran. Thus, appropriate planning, necessary intra-and inter-organizational coordination in incidents, reinforcement of forces by appropriately organizing them, supply of required training, suggestion of long-term strategies, and finally design of a HICS by applying components of the Quality Management System with regard to conditions in Iran seem necessary.


Challenges, Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), Qualitative Research, Semi-Structured Interview

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