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Refining the Hospital Incident Command System to improve Hospital Command Center management of survey activity

Alfred A. Villacara, DMD, Eliot J. Lazar, MD, Brian K. Regan, PhD


The “Survey Command Structure” initiative refines and streamlines the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) structure to more effectively guide a hospital’s management of regulatory survey activity. This newly developed structure retains the hallmark features that make HICS effective but sees the addition of some new roles along with the editing or elimination of others. A literature review reveals no other hospitals undertaking similar initiatives to address survey management. The structure directly contributed to an outstanding result with the most recent Joint Commission survey. Hospitals should embrace this updated structure to allow for improved response to a myriad of regulatory surveys.


HICS; Hospital Command Center; regulatory survey

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California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA): Hospital Incident Command System Guidebook plus Appendences, August 2006. Available at Accessed February 1, 2011.



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