EHS-COVID (542) Strengthening hospital resilience in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

30 June, 2022

The WHO Health Services Learning Hub has just published the June 2022 Newsletter which you can access here:

Below are extracts from a new publication:

Strengthening hospital resilience in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

What is hospital resilience?

The concept of resilience is introduced in the context of emergency and disaster risk reduction where a health facility, or more broadly a health system, can:

1) absorb the unforeseen shocks of an emergency;

2) adapt and respond to the emerging immediate and acute needs of the community, maintain its core functions and ensure the continuity of essential health services, and deliver efficient, safe, high-quality and person-centred care; and

3) transform to recover, reduce vulnerability, and improve its readiness for future crises.

Facility-level preparedness strategies and plans should encompass:

1) strengthening leadership and coordination;

2) contingency planning and flexible financing 3) adapting hospital infrastructure and safety, and managing non-structural components such as logistics, and life-saving supplies and inventory


4) optimizing staffing;

5) enhancing medical and disaster response functions to ensure continuity of essential and critical services;

6) engaging with community support structures and transforming systems towards recovery from emergencies; and

7) building information-systems for evidence-based policy- and decision-making (3,7,22,27).

6. Risk communication and community engagement

'Hospitals would also benefit from utilizing community engagement to reduce fear and stigma, combat rumours, increase surveillance, screening, and triage and communicate preventive measures.

7. Functional information systems

Among the key pillars to strengthening hospital resilience is strengthening facility-level information systems and management. Functional hospital health information systems (HHIS) are cross-cutting and central, acting as the motherboard for hospital operationality, preparedness and subsequent resilience...

COMMENT (NPW): It could be helpful to complement the section on 'Functional information systems' with a comment on access, synthesis and application of evidence-informed policy based on global and local evidence and stakeholder engagement.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, WHO-HIFA project on Essential Health Services and COVID-19

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Working in official relations with WHO