The adaptive capacity of hospital facilities to cope with the risk of disasters caused by extreme weather events: a case study approach.

A three-year study is currently being conducted to determine the adaptive capacity of hospitals in Australia and New Zealand to cope with climate change-related extreme weather events. The primary objective of this research is to develop strategies that can be employed to improve the resilience of hospital facilities to these events. A case study approach was adopted to collect data through focus groups comprising participants who had experienced extreme weather events. Using risk and opportunity management methods, focus group workshop sessions were used as a structured approach to identify, assess and control the risks and opportunities associated with an extreme weather event scenario. The research findings indicate that there is considerable scope for clinical and non-clinical staff to work cooperatively in developing preventative as well as response and recovery strategies. The findings reinforce the view that the relationship between building users and building facilities needs to operate in an integrated fashion if any adaptive strategy is to be effective. This raises interesting governance issues which will be explored in future research.