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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Ongoing System Evaluation

An effective response system is one that continually evolves to incorporate best-demonstrated practices identified in analyses of training exercises or actual events. Therefore, the response system should have a built-in mechanism that provides feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of preparedness and response initiatives, and that identifies strategies to improve the overall system. One primary vehicle for this feedback is a thorough and timely after-action report process. This process must look at medical and public health components of incident response and, therefore, must have clearly defined participatory roles for acute-care medical and public health responders. Moreover, there should be processes attached to the after-action reports to promote organizational learning rather than just an awareness of "lessons learned."[4] 



  1. Additional information on organizational learning may be found in Emergency Management Principles and Practices for Healthcare Systems, Unit 4.

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  • This page last reviewed: February 14, 2012