Managing network risks in health facilities
conference contributionposted on 21.07.2017, 15:44 by Martin Loosemore, Vivien Chow
Health facilities play a crucial role in maintaining healthcare services to the community during an extreme weather event. Health facilities managers operate within a wider network of organisations which include emergency services, health resource suppliers, local authorities, external health agencies and governmental organisations. Their response to an extreme weather event depends significantly on their ability to manage the network risks which may arise between actors in this complex system. Yet existing research has tended to look at facilities managers in isolation. Through an in-depth case study of how health services in the State of New South Wales, Australia would respond to an extreme weather event, the interface risks between these various agencies are explored from a facilities management perspective. An analysis of 139 documentary sources which would dictate the inter-agency response shows that health facilities managers face numerous hidden risks arising from overlapping, complex and unresolved governance conflicts between the agencies on which they depend. It is concluded that these interface risks can be reduced if facilities managers employ a number of strategies. These include: mapping hospital dependency on other agencies; resolve overlapping operational boundaries with other agencies; undertaking proactive risk reduction for critical external support infrastructure; and better understanding potential conflicts with external agencies in responding to an extreme weather event.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering