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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

HICS

 

1. What are the changes that occurred from the HICS 2006 release to HICS 2014?
2. Have any of the position titles changed?
3. Are educational materials being developed as part of the revision?
4. How were decisions made about resource and reference materials for inclusion in the Guidebook?
5. How was regional coordination addressed in the revised documents?
6. Why are the positions under Job Aids not listed on the Hospital Incident Management Team (HIMT) Chart?
7. Why do some HICS Forms appear under the Documents and Tools section of the Job Action Sheets when the position is not an originator of the form?
8. Why does the HICS Form 252: Section Personnel Time Sheet appear in all Job Action Sheets, even at the Unit level?
9. Why aren't all the HICS Toolkit documents available in Adobe PDF "fillable" format?
10. Why am I unable to open the [Word]/.docx files extension available for some of the Appendices?
11. Why am I unable to open [PDF]/.pdf files?
12. I have Adobe reader installed on my computer, but why am I still unable to view PDF documents in my browser?
13. Why am I unable to fill in the PDF "fillable" HICS Forms?
14. Will the HICS IV (Revision 2006) documents be available after the new materials are released?
15. Are there hard copies of the guidebook available?
16. What if I have a question that is not listed here?

 

   


 

1. What are the changes that occurred from the HICS 2006 release to HICS 2014?

High-level enhancements to the HICS Guidebook include:

  • Greater emphasis on Incident Action Planning. The HICS Guidebook contains a chapter dedicated to this process and the HICS Forms that may be used to guide and document the incident response and recovery.
  • Specific attention to the application of HICS to small and rural hospitals. The HICS Guidebook contains a chapter dedicated to the implementation of HICS “off hours” and at Small/Rural Hospitals.
  • The term “Incident Management Team” has been changed to "Hospital Incident Management Team" to eliminate any potential confusion with other engaged response teams such as deployed state or federal resources sent to help manage an incident.
  • A new chapter on adapting HICS to meet unique response needs has been written.

The Incident Planning Guides (IPGs), Incident Response Guides (IRGs), and Job Action Sheets (JASs) have been reformated and have all been revised to reflect current practice in emergency management, such as the use of social media in response and recovery.

The detailed changes to HICS positions and structure in this revision are:

  • A Patient Family Assistance Branch has been added under the Operations Section to address patient family needs during a response.
  • An Employee Family Care Unit Leader has been included in the Support Branch within the Logistics Section to assist healthcare staff and clinicians by providing support for their families.
  • The 2006 HICS Food and Nutrition Units were previously under both Operations and Logistics Sections. This position is consolidated and is now only in the Logistics Section.
  • Some 2006 HICS positions have been eliminated from the Hospital Incident Management Team (HIMT) because of underutilization or because the positions have been absorbed at hospitals as day-to-day positions. Positions removed are: Business Function Relocation Unit, Medical Devices Unit, Environmental Services Unit, and Facility/Equipment Unit.

The detailed changes to the guides in this revision are:

  • The Incident Planning Guides (IPGs) and Incident Response Guides (IRGs) have been reformatted for improved application among hospitals.
  • New Incident Planning Guides (IPGs) and Incident Response Guides (IRGs) are available for hospital use: Active Shooter, Mass Casualty Incident, and Wildland Fire.
  • Revision to the Incident Planning Guides (IPGs) and Incident Response Guides (IRGs) include the consolidation of guidance for interruption in the hospital infrastructure into one Utility Failure guide. Infant Abduction was revised into a Missing Person guide that addresses infants, children, and adults. Biological hazards and chemical incidents were modified, resulting in a Chemical Incident guide and an Infectious Disease guide.
  • The division of Internal Scenarios and External Scenarios has been eliminated. See the Scenario Crosswalk.
  • Efforts were made to order each item in a logical and consistant order for each Incident Planning Guide.

The detailed changes to the HICS Forms are:

  • All HICS Forms have been revised to be more consistent with those used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • There are 3 new HICS Forms available for hospital use: Incident Action Plan (IAP) Quick Start; the HICS 200: IAP Cover Sheet; and the HICS 221: Demobilization Check-Out.
  • The HICS 215A: Incident Action Plan [IAP] Safety Analysis replaces the 2006 HICS Form 261.
  • The HICS Forms are available in both Word and Adobe “fillable” PDF format for improved application among hospitals.

The detailed changes to the Job Action Sheets (JASs) are:

  • The Job Action Sheets (JASs) have been reformatted for improved application among hospitals.
  • The HICS material includes Job Action Sheets for four new positions: Patient Family Assistance Branch Director, Social Services Unit Leader, Family Reunification Unit Leader, and Employee Family Care Unit Leader.
  • The HICS material includes Job Aids for three positions: Scribe, Runner, and Emergency Amateur Radio Operator.
  • Efforts were made to align the HICS Forms with the Documents and Tools sections on both the Job Action Sheets (JASs) and the Incident Response Guides (IRGs) so that they are consistent with each other.

 

2. Have any of the position titles changed?

Yes, there were slight changes to some position titles:

  • The IT/IS Unit Leader under the Logistics Section is now the IT/IS Equipment Unit Leader.
  • The Mental Health Unit Leader under the Operations Section is now called the Behavioral Health Unit Leader.
  • The Building/Grounds Damage Unit Leader under the Operations Section is now called the Building/Grounds Unit Leader.
  • The Information Technology (IT) Unit under the Operations Section is now called the IT Systems and Application Unit Leader.
  • The Records Preservation Unit Leader under the Operations Section is now called the Records Management Unit Leader.

 

3. Are educational materials being developed as part of the revision?

The revision project did not include the development of education and training materials, such as power point programs or curriculum updates. Each of the chapters in the guidebook begins with a set of objectives, which is intended for the reader to use as learning objectives.

 

4. How were decisions made about resource and reference materials for inclusion in the Guidebook?

Resource materials were included for those sources that had a direct application to HICS or the Incident Command System (ICS), and for issues identified in Job Action Sheets (JASs), Incident Planning Guides (IPGs), and Incident Response Guides (IRGs). Additionally, these sources had to fit set criteria for availability to the public, including availability to the public at no cost.

 

5. How was regional coordination addressed in the revised documents?

Throughout the new material, you will see the phrase: “Regional Hospital Coordination Centers (RHCC) or the equivalent" used. Growing numbers of communities are developing a regional approach to coordinate hospital information sharing and medically-related resource management during a crisis.

 

6. Why are the positions under Job Aids not listed on the Hospital Incident Management Team (HIMT) Chart?

The Job Aids provided for the positions of Runner, Scribe, and Emergency Amateur Radio Operator were not applied to the HIMT Chart as they may be assigned to any of several units or sections.

 

7. Why do some HICS Forms appear under the Documents and Tools section of the Job Action Sheets when the position is not an originator of the form?

The Documents and Tools section lists those resources that a position may originate, contribute to completion, use for information sharing, or assist in the efficient transfer of  briefing a replacement. As with the rest of the JAS, the list of tools should be reviewed and customized by the hospital to include hospital specific tools. Likewise, if a hospital identifies items listed that are not applicable to the mission of the hospital, they may be removed from the JAS or identified as not applicable.

 

8. Why does the HICS Form 252: Section Personnel Time Sheet appear in all Job Action Sheets, even at the Unit level?

The HICS Form 252: Section Personnel Time Sheet may be applied at all levels where personnel are assigned. The Incident Commander or designee (Section Chiefs) directs the use of this form.

 

9. Why aren't all the HICS Toolkit documents available in Adobe PDF "fillable" format?

The revision project included the HICS Forms and the Hospital Incident Management Team (HIMT) chart to be provided in Word and Adobe “fillable” PDF format for improved application among hospitals.

 

10. Why am I unable to open the [Word]/.docx files extension available for some of the Appendices?

To use all document features, California EMSA recommends that you use Microsoft Word 2010 or above. The docx. file extension is the default extension used for files created by Microsoft Word 2007 and later editions. If you are using an earlier version of Microsoft Word, please download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word available here: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word.

 

11. Why am I unable to open [PDF]/.pdf files?

The computer being used must have a PDF reader installed. The Adobe reader is available for download here: Adobe Reader.

 

12. I have Adobe reader installed on my computer, but why am I still unable to view PDF documents in my browser?

In some computer set-ups, the user may be unable to open a PDF document in the current browser. To resolve this problem, Right click on link, and select “save target as” (“save link as” in Firefox / Chrome) and save.

 

13. Why am I unable to fill in the PDF "fillable" HICS Forms?

Browser plug-ins typically do not support all PDF capabilities. It is recommended to download the HICS Forms first and then open them in Adobe.

 

14. Will the HICS IV (Revision 2006) documents be available after the new materials are released?

Yes, the HICS 2006 materials will be archived and available for download on the California EMSA website here: http://www.emsa.ca.gov/Hospitals

 

15. Are there hard copies of the guidebook available?

The revision project did not include the development of printed versions. The HICS Guidebook, Appendices and graphics are available for download here: http://www.emsa.ca.gov/disaster_medical_services_division_hospital_incident_command_system

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) grants permission for these materials to be reproduced or utilized in whole or in part.

 

16. What if I have a question that is not listed here?

If you did not see your question in the list above please email your question to HICS@emsa.ca.gov.

California EMSA encourages feedback to HICS@emsa.ca.gov and may provide other portions of the Toolkit based on feedback.