Loughborough University
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Modelling the impact of extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure using rich picture diagrams

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-07-25, 08:46 authored by Denny McGeorge, Vivien ChowVivien Chow, J. Carthey, Martin Loosemore
Healthcare infrastructure for a community comprises not only its hospital but also many other related facilities such as primary care clinics, community health centres, rural nursing posts, aged care centres, etc. These facilities form a complex set of relationships which need to work collectively for an effective response to climatechange related extreme weather events such as floods and storms. The aim of this research is to develop a conceptual understanding of the dynamic relationships of hospital facilities before, during and after an extreme weather event. This is an essential step in framing a systems model that will assist facility managers to maintain critical healthcare infrastructure during an emergency. Rich Picture Diagrams (RPDs) were used to map relationships between critical healthcare infrastructure components such as the base hospital; access roads; aged care facilities and remotely located supplies. The rich information on the inter-organisational, system and governance complexities associated with responding to extreme weather events was obtained from three hospital case studies (two in Australia and one in New Zealand). The main finding of this research is that RPDs have considerable potential in the development of soft systems models which will assist decision takers involved in the design and management of healthcare infrastructure particularly in the context of extreme weather events. The soft systems methodology which underpins this research challenges the conventional view of what constitutes a ‘facility’ and consequently has important implications for those constructing and managing facilities.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

The 27th Annual ARCOM Conference


973 - 981 (9)


MCGEORGE, D. ...et al., Modelling the impact of extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure using rich picture diagrams. In: Egbu, C. and Lou, E.C.W. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 27th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2011, Bristol, UK: Association of Researchers in Construction Management, pp. 973-981.


Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is a conference paper. The publisher's website is at: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/


  • en


Bristol, UK