Surge Management

Expanding Medical Services to Handle Large Events

Medical surge is the ability to expand care capabilities and to provide medical evaluation and care to the injured or ill during events, natural or man-made, that cause health care facilitates to exceed the limits of their normal medical capacity capabilities in response to a great increase in demand. Large events require us to expand and change medical services available to meet the needs of the public. Surge Management works to increase the surge capacity of healthcare systems. Emergency Preparedness sustains all-hazards electronic and communication response tools needed by healthcare providers for regional and statewide disasters.

Public Health in Action: Impact Statement: Knoxville-East Region Train in Improving Pediatric Surge Capacity  

Capability 5: Fatality Management

  • Clarifies importance of identifying the public health agency role in fatality management and describes potential fatality management lead, advisory, and support roles
  • Aligns the fatality management definition to the existing federal definition as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS), Disaster Mortuary               Operational Response Team
  • Updates resources to improve coordination, accuracy, and timeliness of electronic mortality reporting

Capability 7: Mass Care

  • Incorporates content for accommodating individuals with functional and access needs within general population shelters
  • Includes considerations for registration of individuals requiring decontamination or medical tracking in the event of an environmental health incident
  • Coordinated content with HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities

Capability 10: Medical Surge

  • Emphasizes the need to define public health agency lead and support roles within medical surge operations
  • Eliminates use of the term “HAvBED” because the term is no longer promoted by the Hospital Preparedness Program and focuses instead on “situational awareness” and “health       care systems tracking” as an overarching theme
  • Emphasizes the need to identify and clarify the jurisdictional ESF #8 response role in medical surge operations based on jurisdictional role and incident characteristics

Capability 15: Volunteer Management

  • Addresses the need to monitor volunteer safety, risks, and actions during and after an incident
  • Strengthens and clarifies volunteer eligibility considerations, such as medical, physical, and emotional health, during the volunteer selection process
  • Promotes use of Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance

In Tennessee, much of the work in Surge Management occurs through our eight Healthcare Coalitions. Healthcare Coalitions are collaborative networks of healthcare organizations and their respective public and private sector partners that assist with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities related to healthcare organization disaster operations.

For more information on healthcare coalitions and the hospital preparedness program, visit: Hospital Preparedness Program.

The Medical Reserve Corps serves as the department’s volunteer organization. Emergency Preparedness regional MRC units recruit and train medical and general volunteers to support the Tennessee Department of Health, hospitals and medical care providers in a public health emergency. To get contact information for the MRC unit nearest you, or to join visit Medical Reserve Corps.

Tennessee Healthcare Coalitions

Shown below are the TN healthcare coalitions organized to align with the 8 EMS regions in the state.


Healthcare Coalitions

Public Health Regions

Shown below are the 13 public health regions divided into 6 metropolitan areas and 7 rural jurisdictions.