GIS in Hospital and Healthcare Emergency Management  book cover
1st Edition

GIS in Hospital and Healthcare Emergency Management

ISBN 9781439821299
Published April 27, 2010 by CRC Press
279 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Although many books have been published on the application of GIS in emergency management and disaster response, this is the first one to bring together a comprehensive discussion of the critical role GIS plays in hospital and healthcare emergency management and disaster response.

Illustrating a wide range of practical applications, GIS in Hospital and Healthcare Emergency Management explores how GIS data is being used to assess need, determine surge capacity, and improve logistics in emergency or disaster scenarios. Leading experts in the field provide authoritative coverage of all areas of emergency management involving GIS and related technologies.

Making this complex subject accessible for professionals who want to improve their preparedness and response capabilities, this complete resource provides numerous examples, case studies, and proven simulation and modeling tools to aid in the development of effective and efficient emergency response plans. It also includes a CD-ROM with a user interface that supplies access to helpful forms, exercises, color versions of the figures in the book, hundreds of valuable resources, as well as a composite bibliography of all references included in the text.

In today’s technology driven environment, failure to plan is planning to fail. This accessible resource provides emergency planners, operations managers, and hospital and healthcare administrators with the understanding and the tools needed to create emergency management and disaster preparedness systems that will help hospitals save lives, time, and money when the next emergency strikes.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Evolving Role of Geographic Information Systems in Hospital and Healthcare Emergency Management; Ric Skinner

Section I: Conceptual Approaches
A Spatial Approach to Hazard Vulnerability Analysis by Healthcare Facilities; Ric Skinner
Using GIS to Improve Workplace and Worker Safety Crisis Management; Jeffrey M. Miller
Infectious Disease Surveillance and GIS: Applications for Emergency Management; Michael Olesen
Role of GIS in Interagency Healthcare Logistical Support during Emergencies; Jerry D. VanVactor
Design Concept for a Location-Based Hazard Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Healthcare Facilities; Ric Skinner

Section II: Applications
Trauma Center Siting, Optimization Modeling, and GIS; Charles C. Branas, Brendan G. Carr, Megan Heckert, and Robert Cheetham
Healthcare Facility Disaster Planning: Using GIS to Identify Alternate Care Sites; Johnathon A. Mohr, Gwenn M. Allen, and James L. Querry
Multiscale Enterprise GIS for Healthcare Preparedness in South Carolina; Jared Shoultz, Doug Calvert, Guang Zhao, and Richard Max Learner
Hospital Preparedness Planning for Evacuation and Sheltering with GIS in South Carolina; Jared Shoultz, Doug Calvert, Guang Zhao, and Richard Max Learner
Making Sense Out of Chaos: Improving Prehospital and Disaster Response; Elizabeth Lea Walters, Stephen W. Corbett, and Jeff Grange

Section III: Case Stories
Disaster Preparedness for Influenza at a Community Hospital Network: A Case Study Using GIS; Edward M. Rafalski, Vincent J. Gallagher, Matthew M. Wakely, and Armand Turceanu
Disaster Preparedness and Response for Vulnerable Populations: Essential Role of GIS for Emergency Medical Services during the San Diego County 2007 Firestorm; Isabel Corcos, Holly Shipp, Alan Smith, Barbara Stepanski, and Leslie Upledger Ray
Natural Disasters and the Role of GIS in Assessing Need; Omar Ha-Redeye
GIS Application and a Regionalized Approach for Mass Casualty Incident Planning; Deborah H. Kim, William B. Proger, Kent L. Simons, and Christopher M. Hiles
Building a GIS Common Operating Picture for Integrated Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Emergency Management Response; Frank Zanka


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Ric Skinner, a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), is an experienced consultant and researcher whose expertise includes health geographics, hospital & healthcare preparedness, GIS and environmental monitoring and assessment. He is internationally recognized for "pushing the GIS envelope" in diverse hospital/healthcare areas: clinical/medical, health services & resources, and "hospital-land" security. He has fifteen years experience in "Health Geographics", a term he coined in the mid-1990s to recognize the application of GIS technology in hospitals and healthcare. In addition to his career in Health Geographics Ric has 23 years experience as a Certified Fisheries Scientist and Certified Environmental Professional in environmental monitoring and assessment, including fisheries ecology, aquatic bioassay/biomonitoring, state & federal environmental permitting, wetlands assessment & mitigation, and facility siting.

During his Health Geographics career (1994-present) Ric has provided independent consulting services to hospitals and a national health information company, held a position as Senior Research Scientist for three years (1999-2001) with the New Jersey Dept. of Health and Senior Services, Cancer Epidemiology Service/State Cancer Registry, and served as the Health Dept.’s representative on the NJ GIS Committee. In 2001, he provided GIS support to CDC during its anthrax bioterrorism investigation at NJ postal facilities by creating internal maps of equipment, personnel areas, and ventilation system for CDC’s analysis of FBI and NIOSH anthrax sampling locations.

More recently (2002-2007), Ric served as Program Manager at Baystate Medical Center’s Health Geographics Program (HGP; Springfield, MA) -- the only hospital-based full time GIS department in the U. S. While there, he managed the HGP team and participated in a variety of GIS projects including epidemiology, automated vehicle dispatch & tracking/GPS systems, facilities management, hospital/healthcare preparedness, Hazard Vulnerability Assessment, and medical/clinical research. He served on the hospital’s Emergency Management Committee. In June 2007 he participated as a healthcare representative during the Joint Chiefs of Staff Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration, Trial 3.27 – Integrated Information Management System. He served as a Civilian Emergency Manager Role Player and provided numerous briefings to visiting U.S. and European military and defense contractors during the two week’s assignment in Dahlgren, VA.

Currently Ric has his own consultancy, The Stoneybrook Group LLC. It is a Veteran-owned Business based in Sturbridge, MA, and offers services to clients in hospital/healthcare preparedness, health geographics, and GIS. He has been a Role Player, Observer, and Controller in several HSEEP Table Top and Functional exercises.

Ric initiated and co-chaired the International Health Geographics Conference held in 1998 (Baltimore, MD) and 2000 (Washington, DC). He co-edited the book Geographic Information Systems and Health Applications (2003) and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, presentations and reports on topics in hospital preparedness, Health Geographics and environmental management. He is a co-founder and on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Health Geographics ( He actively participates in IAEM, BCPWHO, DMIS-SIG, OPEN-SIG, EIIP, Yahoo Groups Emergency Management Forum, Google Groups Hospital Emergency Management Forum, and URISA (including his role as Program Co-chair for the URISA GIS/Public Health Conf. June 2009).


If you want a successful system of emergency management at the local, state, tribal, or federal level, you must utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS)—period! … Ric Skinner has pulled together leaders and scientists from an incredible cross-section of those who are truly involved in the preparations for, and responses to, emergencies. These authors—leaders in their fields—have managed to explain a comprehensive range and depth of information that will prove to be critical to an organization that wants to ensure success in their planning and response. My fervent hope is that those involved in emergency planning and operations will derive invaluable benefits and lessons from this book.
R. Tom Sizemore III, MD, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Preparedness & Emergency Operations, U. S. Department of Health & Human Services 

... the first resource of its kind to guide us as we move towards increased use of GIS in healthcare disaster preparedness and response. It is an excellent resource that belongs on every emergency manager’s bookshelf.
—Angela Devlen, Managing Partner Wakefield Brunswick, Inc. and Co-Founder Business Continuity Planning Workgroup for Healthcare Organizations

... authoritative and comprehensive, covering all areas of emergency management involving GIS and related technologies, in a readable and accessible manner. The book deserves a place of prominence on the shelves of all those concerned with health/GIS, emergency preparedness, hospital management, and public health response systems.
—Omar A. Khan, MD MHS FAAFP, University of Vermont College of Medicine & American Public Health Association (APHA)

This book should be required reading for every emergency manager. The writing style is engaging and the subject matter draws you in—especially because the content achieves the balance between essential wisdom and stay-up-at-night emergency preparedness concerns. If you start reading this book with a neophyte’s view of GIS, you will walk away with an intense collection of real-world knowledge.
—Hal Newman, Managing Partner, TEMS

This text by Mr. Ric Skinner, GISP, et al. takes a bold leap into operationalizing the importance of GIS in all four phases of disaster: preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery for hospitals and healthcare. Mr. Skinner and his contributors should be applauded for opening our eyes to the future.
—James L. Paturas, LP, CEM, CBCP, FACCP, Deputy Director, Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response

As healthcare organizations continue to enhance their disaster readiness capabilities, GIS technology will become an essential component of all responses. ... an excellent guide to the future of healthcare emergency management.
—James M. Rush, Chief Operating Officer, JVR Health Readiness Inc., and co-author of Unprepared

Editor Ric Skinner is the real deal, one of America’s best minds on the subject of pragmatic GIS applications. ... Skinner and the contributing authors have taken a very complex subject and made it understandable for local users who want to improve their response capabilities…. a wonderful addition to the emergency preparedness toolbox.
—John J Shaw, DMD, Program Director, (Hartford, CT) Capitol Region Metropolitan Medical Response System, and Chair, RESF 8, Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee