Sustainability Assessment of Hospitals in West Bank

Thumbnail Image
Amer, Mohammed
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
An-Najah National University
Hospitals are the most important component of the healthcare sector which mainly aims at maintaining better health for the community and contribute to the national well-being. However, Hospitals have complex systems with social, economic and environmental impact. Palestine is a developing country that suffers from many environmental, economic, and social challenges. It is in a dire need to apply Sustainable Development (SD) concepts in all sectors including healthcare sector. Sustainability Assessment (SA) tools provide an effective framework for assessing, improving, and guiding hospital’s performance in terms of environmental, economic, and social perspectives and integrating SD concept into planning, managing, and operating hospitals. Starting from these assumptions the aim of this study is to develop a hospital SA tool to assess and improve West Bank (WB) hospitals’ sustainability. To achieve this aim, the research adopted a multidimensional methodological approach which included collecting, analyzing, and interpreting many data types from many sources using various techniques. The study starts with establishing the first set of the tool’s assessment items through studying the most relevant literature and exploring a number of well-known SA tools. After that, the assessment items were refined according to their suitability for WB context. This was done through highlighting the WB local context and conducting structured interviews (to fill a questionnaire) with 60 local experts. Furthermore, when applying pairwise comparisons and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method it was possible to develop a weighting system in which the priorities of the proposed assessment items were assigned according to WB conditions. Pairwise comparisons were performed in the form of structured interviews (to fill a questionnaire) with 30 experts. The outcome of the research is a Hospital Sustainability Assessment tool that suits the WB context (HSAtool-WB). The HSAtool-WB is organized in a three levels hierarchal structure: fifty indicators are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Then, in the middle level the indicators are organized into 12 categories. These categories are distributed across three main areas that cover the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability. Finally, HSAtool-WB was applied to assess sustainability in 28 of the Palestinian hospitals in WB. The results show that WB hospitals do not adopt sustainable practices as they should be. As the total sustainability score of the evaluated hospitals achieved was only about 49/100 points. It is also found that the results of the environmental indicators were found to be the lowest while hospitals achieved better results in economic and social indicators. Finally, the study recommended many sustainable strategies to improve the WB hospitals sustainability based on the weaknesses that were identified during indicators’ evaluations. Emphasis was placed on administrative solutions as they do not require a substantial change in the hospital structure.
Sustainability Assessment of Hospitals in West Bank