Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The Medical Surge Capacity and Capability (MSCC) handbook was published in August 2004 to describe a systematic approach for managing the medical and public health response to an emergency or disaster. Shortly after its publication, the Department of Homeland Security released the National Response Plan (NRP). In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, the NRP established the structure and process for a coordinated multidisciplinary and all-hazards approach to domestic incident management based on a National Incident Management System (NIMS).
The NRP was put to its first real-world test during Hurricane Katrina. Although incident response is a State and local responsibility, after action reviews from Katrina indicate the need to strengthen Federal support of State and local efforts and improve preparedness for the Federal response to a catastrophic event. Katrina was a stark reminder of the devastating consequences, especially among the medically fragile segments of society, when the local healthcare infrastructure fails. It also revealed that collaborative planning, information sharing, and incident management coordination—hallmarks of the MSCC handbook—apply not only to surge events, but also to maintaining normal healthcare operations and services, a concept known as medical system resiliency. The lessons learned from Katrina spurred changes to the NRP.
The impetus for updating the MSCC handbook was to describe recent changes to the Federal emergency response structure, particularly the Federal public health and medical response. The revision also expands on several concepts described in the first edition of the MSCC handbook to facilitate their implementation. While the tiered approach described in this handbook is consistent with NIMS and the NRP, this revision addresses terminology and concept descriptions to assure consistency with Federal guidance.
A subject matter expert panel was convened in August 2006 to identify areas of the MSCC handbook that should be expanded or updated. The panel was drawn primarily from the pool of experts that participated in the development of the original MSCC. Based on the panel's insights, HHS worked with the CNA Corporation and Drs. Joseph Barbera and Anthony Macintyre to prioritize areas for revision and complete the necessary changes.
In addition to promoting consistent terminology with the NRP and NIMS, the following is a list of key updates or revisions contained in this second edition of the MSCC handbook:
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