A policy management game for mass casualty incidents: an experimental study

  • Marion S. RaunerEmail author
  • Helmut Niessner
  • Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger
  • Natasa Peric
  • Teresa Herdlicka


The number of complex and unique mass casualty incidents has increased due to natural and technological disasters as well as man-made disasters such as political instabilities, economic recession, and terrorism. Thus, health care policy-makers such as the Austrian Samaritan Organization have been continuously improving the training of emergency staff to enable them to quickly evacuate an emergency site, to minimize the number of fatalities at the incident site, and to decrease the patients’ waiting time for treatment. We developed a policy management game to provide a training tool for emergency staff to support such policy-makers. In addition, with this game students can be educated on scheduling and planning techniques such as simulation, queuing theory, and resource allocation. To investigate the potential of our policy management game, we conducted an experimental study with 96 participants including students, practitioners from health care services, and researchers. They acted as incident commanders to decide on sending medical staff to triage, to different treatment rooms for care and to on-site transportation, as well as to transportation to hospitals during three game runs. The participants rated the general structure and organization of the experiment as high. The performance was also improved by many participants during the experiment. We found differences in performance among the different participant groups.


Policy simulator Management game Health care Mass casuality incidents Experimental study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion S. Rauner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helmut Niessner
    • 2
  • Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger
    • 3
  • Natasa Peric
    • 2
  • Teresa Herdlicka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Innovation and Technology ManagementUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchKarl-Franzens-University GrazGrazAustria

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