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Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response Develops a Multipurpose Emergency Response Application, Revolutionizing Access to Response Tools and Communication   

Spring 2022


The Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) used Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement funding to develop a multipurpose emergency response app that functions as an emergency response notification system. The AzCHER mobile app houses virtual training manuals, resource guides, incident command forms, and federal emergency response resources.

As an emergency response notification system, the app significantly bolsters communication and situational awareness for the over 900 users working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and emergency medical services across Arizona, many of whom are members of Arizona's health care coalitions (HCCs).

The first of its kind, AzCHER's app centralizes many emergency response resources such as Hospital Evacuation Decision, Incident Command System and Mass Casualty Guides, psychological first aid trainings, and more. This makes the app a convenient resource for response teams to reference and use at any time or place on their phone or tablet, which is crucial to a rapid response.

HCCs in Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, and Vermont are working with AzCHER to develop similar apps, which will enable other HCCs to equip their communities with new technology and resources to save lives during an incident or disaster.

“Our purpose is to build resilience in Arizona’s health care delivery system so that it is prepared to
 respond to 
and recover from a large-scale emergency or disaster. The AzCHER mobile app supports
 this purpose by enabling collaborating during day-to-day operations as well as through large
scale emergencies or disasters”

- Jamie Beauvais, Central Region Manager and           
Statewide Training and Exercise Manager at AzCHER        


Prior to the development of the app, AzCHER purchased and distributed training and educational materials, such as psychological first aid books, for their coalition members across the state using funding from HPP. With these books and other training resource guides in high demand, AzCHER began exploring options to increase accessibility and overall information sharing with their members and partners. Ultimately, AzCHER decided to use HPP cooperative agreement funding to develop and launch an app that served as a multiservice emergency response resource, housing everything from virtual copies of training manuals to links to ASPR resources, while simultaneously serving as an emergency response notification system.


Screenshot of the AzCHER Application

The AzCHER mobile app enables responders, including HCCs, emergency medical services, hospitals, and long-term care facilities to collaborate during both day-to-day operations, as well as during emergencies or disasters. Users can easily download digital materials including incident command system forms or digital training guides, making key response resources more convenient and accessible. In addition to housing multiple resources, the app can send out a mass notification, in the event of an emergency, by using geographic information system mapping. This feature allows AzCHER to increase its emergency communication and coordination when planning for and responding to a disaster. As of April 2023, the AzCHER app had more than 900 subscribers among HCC members such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and emergency responders.

When Arizona hosted the 2023 Super Bowl, AzCHER worked with the National Football League's Super Bowl planning team and a nearby Level I trauma center to conduct an emergency communications exercise using the app's built-in emergency notification feature. The exercise simulated an emergency response to a mass casualty incident. During the exercise, the app notified the emergency management team and the hospital emergency response team in the area of the trauma center. This successful exercise emphasized the value of the app and its ability to provide near instant communications during an emergency.