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Leadership During the Boston Marathon Bombings: A Qualitative After-Action Review

Leadership During the Boston Marathon Bombings: A Qualitative After-Action Review Abstract Objective On April 15, 2013, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded at the Boston Marathon and 264 patients were treated at 26 hospitals in the aftermath. Despite the extent of injuries sustained by victims, there was no subsequent mortality for those treated in hospitals. Leadership decisions and actions in major trauma centers were a critical factor in this response. Methods The objective of this investigation was to describe and characterize organizational dynamics and leadership themes immediately after the bombings by utilizing a novel structured sequential qualitative approach consisting of a focus group followed by subsequent detailed interviews and combined expert analysis. Results Across physician leaders representing 7 hospitals, several leadership and management themes emerged from our analysis: communications and volunteer surges, flexibility, the challenge of technology, and command versus collaboration. Conclusions Disasters provide a distinctive context in which to study the robustness and resilience of response systems. Therefore, in the aftermath of a large-scale crisis, every effort should be invested in forming a coalition and collecting critical lessons so they can be shared and incorporated into best practices and preparations. Novel communication strategies, flexible leadership structures, and improved information systems will be necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality during future events. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:489–495) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness Cambridge University Press

Leadership During the Boston Marathon Bombings: A Qualitative After-Action Review

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness , Volume 9 (5): 7 – Jun 22, 2015

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2015 
ISSN
1938-744X
eISSN
1935-7893
DOI
10.1017/dmp.2015.42
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Objective On April 15, 2013, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded at the Boston Marathon and 264 patients were treated at 26 hospitals in the aftermath. Despite the extent of injuries sustained by victims, there was no subsequent mortality for those treated in hospitals. Leadership decisions and actions in major trauma centers were a critical factor in this response. Methods The objective of this investigation was to describe and characterize organizational dynamics and leadership themes immediately after the bombings by utilizing a novel structured sequential qualitative approach consisting of a focus group followed by subsequent detailed interviews and combined expert analysis. Results Across physician leaders representing 7 hospitals, several leadership and management themes emerged from our analysis: communications and volunteer surges, flexibility, the challenge of technology, and command versus collaboration. Conclusions Disasters provide a distinctive context in which to study the robustness and resilience of response systems. Therefore, in the aftermath of a large-scale crisis, every effort should be invested in forming a coalition and collecting critical lessons so they can be shared and incorporated into best practices and preparations. Novel communication strategies, flexible leadership structures, and improved information systems will be necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality during future events. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:489–495)

Journal

Disaster Medicine and Public Health PreparednessCambridge University Press

Published: Jun 22, 2015

Keywords: bombs; emergency medicine; communication; disaster medicine; mass casualty incidents

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