The Center for Disaster Medicine works to continually improve and enhance the hospital’s readiness for disasters and emergency situations of all types.
Massachusetts General Hospital Hazardous Materials Response Team
A unique and robust model for hospital-based hazardous materials (HazMat) response, the Mass General HazMat response team is comprised of over 70 volunteers who are recruited from departments throughout the hospital and work across all shifts and schedules. The team uses an inventive rotating on-call structure that facilitates a 24/7 rapid initial response and provides for large-scale screening and decontamination for patients and visitors during a HazMat mass casualty event. The team and decontamination facilities are tested several times per year, and can typically be operational in 20-40 minutes. The team has the ability to decontaminate more than 100 patients per hour and can provide care to ambulatory and non-ambulatory victims. For more than 10 years, the team has been able to demonstrate the sustainability of this model with successful retention and recruitment of volunteers, high interest in training and exercises, and ongoing operational improvements each year, including the demonstrated ability to perform cold weather and special population decontamination.
Regional Ebola Virus Disease and Special Pathogens Treatment Center
In June of 2015, Mass General was selected to serve as the designated Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogens Treatment Center for Region 1 (New England) in the United States. As one of only 10 such Centers in the US, we believe that this designation reflects the tremendous commitment of the hospital and its leaders to be able to care for all patients in the safest and best way possible, no matter what the circumstances, and to take the necessary steps to protect our hospital, our community and our country from emerging infectious diseases domestically and abroad. As part of our responsibility as a designated Center, Mass General has committed to be continuously ready and available to care for a patient with Ebola or another severe, highly infectious disease, whether the patient is medically evacuated from overseas or is diagnosed within the U.S.
Mass General Incident Management Team
Mass General has taken steps to provide coordinated response to incidents of all sizes through the creation of a hospital-based Incident Management Team. Frequent utilization of formal communications and meeting structures based on identified triggers has improved Mass General’s capacity to respond to incidents of all sizes. The responsibility of the IMT is to ensure the initial steps of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) are enacted when needed and/or serve as a subset of subject matter experts (SMEs) when activation of the EOP is not required. The IMT will assess the situation, determine the scope of the incident, plan an appropriate response, and initiate a plan of action.