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Using Rapid Improvement Events for Disaster After-Action Reviews: Experience in a Hospital Information Technology Outage and Response

  • Charles M. Little (a1), Christopher McStay (a2), Justin Oeth (a3), April Koehler (a3) and Kelly Bookman (a2)...


The use of after-action reviews (AARs) following major emergency events, such as a disaster, is common and mandated for hospitals and similar organizations. There is a recurrent challenge of identified problems not being resolved and repeated in subsequent events. A process improvement technique called a rapid improvement event (RIE) was used to conduct an AAR following a complete information technology (IT) outage at a large urban hospital. Using RIE methodology to conduct the AAR allowed for the rapid development and implementation of major process improvements to prepare for future IT downtime events. Thus, process improvement methodology, particularly the RIE, is suited for conducting AARs following disasters and holds promise for improving outcomes in emergency management.

Little CM , McStay C , Oeth J , Koehler A , Bookman K . Using Rapid Improvement Events for Disaster After-Action Reviews: Experience in a Hospital Information Technology Outage and Response. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(1):98100.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Charles M. Little, DO, Department of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado 12401 E. 17th Ave B215 Aurora, Colorado 80045 USA E-mail:


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Conflicts of interest: none



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