Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness

Research Article

Health Care Emergency Management: Establishing the Science of Managing Mass Casualty and Mass Effect Incidents

Anthony G. Macintyre c1, Joseph A. Barbera and Peter Brewster


Particularly since 2001, the health care industry has witnessed many independent and often competing efforts to address mitigation and preparedness for emergencies. Clinicians, health care administrators, engineers, safety and security personnel, and others have each developed relatively independent efforts to improve emergency response. A broader conceptual approach through the development of a health care emergency management profession should be considered to integrate these various critical initiatives. When based on long-standing emergency management principles and practices, health care emergency management provides standardized, widely accepted management principles, application concepts, and terminology. This approach could also promote health care integration into the larger community emergency response system. The case for a formally defined health care emergency management profession is presented with discussion points outlining the advantages of this approach. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 1):S52–S58)


c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Anthony G. Macintyre, Dept of Emergency Medicine, ACC 2B, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20037(e-mail: amacintyre@mfa.gwu.edu).

Dr Macintyre is associate professor of emergency medicine, The George Washington University; Dr Barbera is with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management, The George Washington University; and Mr Brewster is with the Department of Veterans Affairs.