Today, emergency room physicians see too many patients who have delayed treatment for heart attacks, strokes, and other serious conditions because of COVID-19 fears. In some cases, the results are needlessly catastrophic. Decisions to activate emergency care for life-threatening episodes appear to be dominated by perceptions that our nation’s emergency care infrastructure is either overwhelmed or unable to safely manage a call for help.
Just like NASA’s mission control analyzes data and provides feedback to optimize a mission in space, a hospital command center does the same for the nurses and clinicians caring for patients on the wards.1 In the past, “incident command centers” were established to temporarily assist health systems to manage operations when confronted with emergencies of a grand scale such as natural disaster. In recent years, command centers have been established as a permanent operational model to manage the complex daily processes of a health system.