Hospital disaster resilience

Added December 4, 2021

Citation: Fallah-Aliabadi S, Ostadtaghizadeh A, Ardalan A, et al. Towards developing a model for the evaluation of hospital disaster resilience: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research. 2020;20:64.

Language: Abstract and full text only available in EN.

Free to view: Yes.

Funding sources: The authors reported that they received no specific funding for this review.

What is this? Hospitals that are resilient are likely to be better able to provide essential services during and after disasters and other health emergencies.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of factors, indicators, variables, models or instruments that affected the resilience of structural or non-structural systems of hospitals in the context of disasters. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did their search on 1 September 2018. They included 32 studies, which were from Australia (1 study), Belgium (1), Canada (2), China (2), Colombia (1), Iran (2), Italy (1), Japan (1), Malaysia (3), New Zealand (1), Switzerland (1), UK (3) and USA (12), and one study from the United Nations.

What was found: Non-structural components such as utilities and architectural systems account for more than 80% of the total costs of a hospital.

Hospital building stability (including structural and non-structural systems and resource preparedness systems) plays a significant role in hospital performance during disasters.

Comprehensive assessment of hospital disaster resilience helps find weaknesses and challenges in the context of disaster risk and ways to mitigate the harmful consequences of disasters.

Safety and risk reduction is mainly used to reduce the level of risk, but resilience is used to keep control of the functionality of a system when the system is prone to risk.

Implications: The authors of the review concluded that tools or models can help societies and government officials to reduce the vulnerability of hospitals and improve their performance and resilience against disasters. They stated that further studies should be done to quantify hospital resilience in different countries and should adopt an all hazards approach.

Other considerations: The authors of the review discussed their findings in the context of place of residence.


This summary was prepared by Ana Pizarro, edited by Firas Khalid, and finalized by Mike Clarke.

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