Development of a Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index using a national hospital survey

David E. Marcozzi, Ricardo Pietrobon, James V. Lawler, Michael T. French, Carter Mecher, John Peffer, Nicole E. Baehr, Brian J. Browne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To generate a Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index that can be used to evaluate hospitals across the United States in regard to their capacity to handle patient surges during mass casualty events. Data from the American Hospital Association’s annual survey, conducted from 2005 to 2014. Our sample comprised 6239 hospitals across all 50 states, with an annual average of 5769 admissions. An extensive review of the American Hospital Association survey was conducted and relevant variables applicable to hospital inpatient services were extracted. Subject matter experts then categorized these items according to the following subdomains of the “Science of Surge” construct: staff, supplies, space, and system. The variables within these categories were then analyzed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, concluding with the evaluation of internal reliability. Based on the combined results, we generated individual (by hospital) scores for each of the four metrics and an overall score. The exploratory factor analysis indicated a clustering of variables consistent with the “Science of Surge” subdomains, and this finding was in agreement with the statistics generated through the confirmatory factor analysis. We also found high internal reliability coefficients, with Cronbach’s alpha values for all constructs exceeding 0.9. A novel Hospital Medical Surge Preparedness Index linked to hospital metrics has been developed to assess a health care facility’s capacity to manage patients from mass casualty events. This index could be used by hospitals and emergency management planners to assess a facility’s readiness to provide care during disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-83
Number of pages24
JournalHealth Services and Outcomes Research Methodology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Factor analyses
  • Health care utilization
  • Mass casualty events
  • Medical surge
  • Preparedness index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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