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"Recovering, not recovered" Hospital disaster resilience: a case-study from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Authors
  • Moitinho de Almeida, Maria1
  • 1 Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (Cred), Institute of Health and Society, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Global Health Action
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Dec 31, 2022
Volume
15
Issue
1
Pages
2013597–2013597
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2021.2013597
PMID: 35138232
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Disasters are an increasing threat to human health, but we know little about their impact on health services, particularly in low and middle-income settings. 'Resilient hospitals' have been increasingly recognized as a cornerstone of disaster management. While various frameworks of hospital resilience exist, they emerged from pre-disaster considerations, and do not incorporate evidence from post-disaster settings. This dissertation investigated the impact of a large-scale sudden onset disaster in a tertiary hospital in Nepal, and explored its resilience mechanisms. This consists of an in-depth case-study combining quantitative data from routinely generated hospital records and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with hospital staff. We used both advanced statistical methods and mixed inductive and deductive coding to analyze the data. Most of the admitted earthquake victims required surgical interventions and long hospitalizations, considerably straining the hospital. For six weeks, the average number of daily admissions decreased. During this period, the share of injury-related admissions was particularly high, and such admissions were particularly long compared to the baseline. Admissions due to other conditions relatively decreased and were shorter. We found that the hospital's resilience was highly dependent on emerging adaptations, in addition to the pre-existing disaster plan. Individual resilience of staff also played a major role, and was influenced by senses of safety, meaningfulness, and belonging. Hospitals should prepare resources and plan for their known disaster risks, but should also allow for a certain flexibility to innovative adaptions to emerging, unforeseen challenges. Challenges faced by hospital workers should not be undermined, and addressing them will increase hospital resilience.

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