Introduction: For the past 7 years, a nursing school has conducted biannual medical missions in a virtually inaccessible area in Haiti. Each medical mission team provides primary care, pediatric and gynecological examinations for up to 6 days in the impoverished island nation. Methods: To improve the safety of participants engaged in this humanitarian travel medicine endeavor and enhance efficiency, the United States National Incident Management System (NIMS) has been implemented as a framework. This integrated system has 5 components: (1) Preparedness, (2) Communication/Information Management, (3) Resource Management, (4) Command and Management, and (5) Ongoing Management/Maintenance. This system was originally designed for government agencies and non-governmental organizations responding to disasters and other global health emergencies. A structural plan using the framework can be implemented as an effective model for future international missions. Results: Implementation of the framework increased efficiency. While missions previously averaged approximately 100 patients daily, after incorporation of NIMS, this figure rose to 140 patients. Additionally, student feedback indicated increases in perceptions of safety and security. Conclusion: The NIMS framework applied by the Haiti medical missions team provided organizational structure and leadership for this humanitarian effort in travel medicine. Integrating NIMS into the mission has extended the outreach of global medical systems to the most rural areas of Haiti and improved care for vulnerable populations with limited access to healthcare. This framework may be used to assist other academic institutions organize safe and effective travel medicine endeavors.
Gage AD, Leslie HH, Bitton A, et al. Assessing the quality of primary care in Haiti. Bull World Health Organ. 2017;95(3):182- 190. doi: 10.2471/BLT.16.179846.
Lasker JN. Global health volunteering; understanding organizational goals. Voluntas. 2016;27(2):574-594. doi:10.1007/ s11266-015-9661-4.
Sykes KJ. Short-term medical service trips: a systematic review of the evidence. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(7):e38-48. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301983.
Ortega J, Mitchell EM, Peragallo N. Beyond borders: global nursing education for the future. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2016;37(4):227-229. doi: 10.5480/13-1296.
Tjoflåt I, Karlsen B, Sætre Hansen B. Working with local nurses to promote hospital-nursing care during humanitarian assignments overseas: experiences from the perspectives of nurses. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25(11-12):1654-1662. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13182.
Bartelme T. Medical missions: do no harm? Physician Leadersh J. 2015;2(2):8-13.
Rodriguez A, Ho T, Verheyden C. International programs in the education of residents: benefits for the resident and the home program. J Craniofac Surg. 2015;26(8):2283-2286. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002212.
Jobe K. Disaster relief in post-earthquake Haiti: unintended consequences of humanitarian volunteerism. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2011;9(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2010.10.006.
Melby MK, Loh LC, Evert J, Prater C, Lin H, Khan OA. Beyond Medical “Missions” to Impact-Driven Short-Term Experiences in Global Health (STEGHs): Ethical Principles to Optimize Community Benefit and Learner Experience. Acad Med. 2016;91(5):633-638. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001009.
Stoney RJ, Jentes ES, Sotir MJ, et al. Pre-travel preparation of US travelers going abroad to provide humanitarian service, Global TravEpiNet 2009-2011. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014;90(3):553-559. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0479.
Ortega, J., González, J., Sloane, S., Snowden, K., & de Tantillo, L. (2017). Implementing the National Incident Management System as a Framework for Travel Medicine in Haiti. International Journal of Travel Medicine and Global Health, 5(4), 119-124. doi: 10.15171/ijtmgh.2017.24
Johis Ortega; Juan González; Scott Paul Sloane; Kenya Snowden; Lila de Tantillo. "Implementing the National Incident Management System as a Framework for Travel Medicine in Haiti". International Journal of Travel Medicine and Global Health, 5, 4, 2017, 119-124. doi: 10.15171/ijtmgh.2017.24
Ortega, J., González, J., Sloane, S., Snowden, K., de Tantillo, L. (2017). 'Implementing the National Incident Management System as a Framework for Travel Medicine in Haiti', International Journal of Travel Medicine and Global Health, 5(4), pp. 119-124. doi: 10.15171/ijtmgh.2017.24
Ortega, J., González, J., Sloane, S., Snowden, K., de Tantillo, L. Implementing the National Incident Management System as a Framework for Travel Medicine in Haiti. International Journal of Travel Medicine and Global Health, 2017; 5(4): 119-124. doi: 10.15171/ijtmgh.2017.24