Towards disaster resilient hospitals: Investigating perspectives and opportunities for empowering healthcare workers and leaders

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Desha, Cheryl J
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Roiko, Anne H
Ranse, Jamie C
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2024-03-01
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Abstract

Hospital functions are increasingly vulnerable to disasters that adversely impact resources and demands, affecting healthcare worker wellness and performance and hindering overall hospital functionality and safety. This is a global phenomenon, with pandemics, wars, terrorism and natural events such as earthquakes, cyclones and flooding continuing to threaten people and infrastructure in many parts of the world. The impacts of these events are being exacerbated by climate change, through extreme weather conditions and intensified and more frequent natural disasters. It is widely understood that hospitals must improve their resilience to disasters, to ensure business continuity in these changing circumstances. However, there is a lack of guidance on how hospital decision makers, leaders and mangers can enhance such resilience. This research focused on healthcare workers (HCWs), in particular the hospital leaders and decision-makers who are at the centre of hospitals, to investigate how Healthcare workers can be supported through improving hospital preparedness, response, recovery, and regeneration, i.e., 'hospital disaster resilience' or 'disaster-resilient hospitals' (DRHs). This research presents the findings, that can support hospitals in building their organisational resilience to disasters, with a number of supporting tools developed from the research findings - for decision support, organisational learning, and staff empowerment. The question driving this research is, 'How can hospital leaders and decision-makers enhance hospital resilience for healthcare workers in disasters?' The research examined various conceptual and theoretical frameworks that influence hospital disaster resilience, including Transformational Leadership, 'Resilience Engineering'(RE), Total Quality Management 'Deming cycle', 'Resilience Framework for Public Health Emergency Preparedness' (RFPHEP), the Disaster Management 'Plan-Prepare-Respond-Recover' (PPRR) approach, 'Hospital Safety index' (HSI), and 'Pan America Health Organisation' (PAHO) elements. The research built on these frameworks, synthesising existing knowledge regarding disruption and key factors impacting hospital disaster resilience. [...]

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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School of Eng & Built Env
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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Subject
hospitals
disasters
resilience
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