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EVSP312 | Sustainability Concerns of Hospital

Sustainability is a paradigm for thinking about the future in which environmental, societal and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of an improved quality of life’ (UNESCO 2015).
 
1.Choose a scenario from the list below and scope it to a specific location, community, organisation or aspect.
2.Explain the key sustainability concerns from an environmental, social and economic point of view.
3.Discuss responses to these concerns that could help to achieve sustainability.

Answer:

Introduction

Today an easy connectivity through the world infrastructure, patients are visiting their choice of hospital. To attend patients from different parts of the world hospitals and care systems are looking for effective ways through which they can increase their efficiency and reduce the cost of treatment to make their services more sustainable. Sustainability of an industry can be defined as enhancing its capabilities to continue the work it is doing over the time (Popescu, 2015). This sustainability can be achieved with the help of resources used at the workplace. In case of hospitals and care systems sustainability reaps benefits in different areas like, creating healthier environment, organization’s perception among the people, and helping people in their locality (Gillissen, et al, 2015). Now-a-days benefits of sustainability are more important than ever before. This is because there is a lot of financial and regulatory pressure on hospitals and care systems.

This report discusses some of the key sustainability concerns that are important from social, environmental, and economic point of view. Further, responses of hospitals and care systems to these concerns are discussed to understand the impact of these concerns.<


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Sustainability

Sustainability is a topic of broad discussion but in simple definition sustainability is defined as the ability of an organization or firm to continue the same that it is doing over the time. In order to continue what an organization is doing over the time or to be truly sustainable, it must take some initiative that are fiscally sound along with helping the organization work environment and community (Mizobuchi, 2017). In case of hospital industry, sustainability deals to with improving the facilities and public perception as well. Environmental sustainability helps to build a goof business also (Pinzone, Guerci, Lettieri, & Redman, 2016). This environmental sustainability in case of hospitals benefits the industry in different ways as it helps the hospital to lower their cost which allows them to avail more resources for taking care of their patients (Heshmati, & Joulaei, 2016).

Organization background

Auburn Hospital is closely networked with Westmead Hospital. This is a teaching hospital affiliated to the University of Notre Dame, Australia. This hospital provides services like, emergency medicine, adult general medicine, surgery facilities, new-born care, satellite renal dialysis, and non-acute care to its patients. Hospital is located in Auburn, which is one of the Australia’s most diverse suburbs. Population over here comes from 126 countries among these around 67% patients come from non-English speaking countries (WSLHD. 2018a).

Sustainability concerns

In order to ensure the sustainability of the hospital its management is concern for various sustainability challenges from environmental, economic, and social point of view.

Environmental concerns

In order to cut the cost make the business sustainable, hospitals have to be concerned for more benefits which are different from the basic sustainability concerns of business CEOs. CEOs from other fields have following concerns for their business sustainability:

  • Saving money
  • Strategic risk and regulatory policies
  • Maintaining image and reputation of their brand name
  • Demonstrating their corporate social responsibilities

Sustainability for hospital organization brings other concerns or benefits that are more specific to the health care industry (McGain, & Naylor, 2014). These concerns are

  • Leaders are concerned for reducing pollution and creating a smaller footprint to the environment
  • Industry efforts such as retro-commissioning that can help the industry to improve the patient’s health that contributes to a lower infection possibility.

Social concerns

In terms of social aspect hospital industry has many sustainability concerns that need to be considered as the sustainability factors for organization in terms of business purpose as well as ethical sustainability. Some of the social concerns of the hospital sustainability are as following:

  • Type of business and employment opportunities for the community
  • Preparedness of youth for the social health services to the community
  • Extends up to which the community people affected by any change made for business sustainability
  • Equal opportunities to the communities
  • Quality of life of the people associated with the organization directly or in an indirect way.

Along with these social concerns of hospitals regarding their business sustainability some legal concerns also matters. These legal issues in terms of social concerns of business sustainability are like, following policies and regulation of the locality, engagement of community resources, and community capacity to reach for the benefits and objectives of the sustainability plan (Dempsey, Bramley, Power, & Brown, 2011).

Economic concerns

Although social and environmental aspects of the sustainability are of most concerns for hospitals, economic factors are also of significant concerns for the industry. These aspects are related to the business growth of the organization that is in terms of financial revenues of the organizations. Economic aspects of the sustainability concerns for hospitals are not so much different from any other organization’s concern (Borgonovi, & Compagni, 2013). Similar to any other organization, hospitals also have the following sustainability concerns from economic point of view:

  • Cost saving on services they are providing
  • Long range planning
  • Smart growth of the business
  • R & D growth in terms of medical advancement
  • Long range planning for business

Response of the Auburn

In response to all the sustainability concerns, from environmental, social, and economic point of view, that is discussed above Auburn Hospital is effectively working on its sustainability planning. Hospital is concerned for its sustainability concerns for the environment is continuously researching on the alternatives that can reduce its adverse impacts on the environment. Hospital’s mission is to provide a quality health services to the community people. To create a comfortable and healthy environment hospital staff is consisting of nurses speaking 70 languages. Auburn Hospital is also responses for its sustainability concerns in terms of its social aspects like education, equal opportunities, and preparedness of youth for its involvement in community services. The clinical school under the University of Notre Dame, Australia that is located in the hospital campus to prepare students for the sustainable future of the hospital. This school is offering nursing and midwifery training and education program, medical program, and also an allied health and placement programme under which hospital recruits students in the hospital. In the school hospital management also drive the research program for students to support their career in the hospital industry. In response to the social concerns of the hospital management system of the hospital is designed in such a way that it has built a strong relation with its patients to show them a personal care. This feel of personal concern to individual patient hospital management is committed to listen and involve the patient and their carers to make them feel cared (WSLHD. 2018a).

Along with all these social concern responses, hospital management is committed to its economic concerns too. To meet the economic sustainability of their business management is continuously working on the research and development in the medical science. In response to its economic concerns hospital has established “Research and Education Network” to provide governance and nurturing of teaching and research. This network is established to meet the economic sustainability goal of the hospital by making people realise that the hospital is strongly dedicated to the continuous improvement in their treatments and care taking facilities to ensure the patient’s health better always (WSLHD. 2018b).

In this way hospital responses are showing the hospital is more concern about social and environmental concerns to help patients along with some research and development work. Hospital has considered the economic sustainability at less priority as the service is a community service and it is not to be economic all the time. This shows that the management is also concerned for the ethical concerns of their working industry to meet the ethical behaviour of an organization in terms of their working industry. Sustainability of a hospital is depends on its ethical responsibilities same as of on other social and economic responsibilities (WSLHD. 2018c).

Conclusion

This report concludes that sustainability concerns of hospital are more important in terms of social responsibilities. Hospital being a community service provider considers social and environmental form of sustainability concerns more over the economic concerns. Social and environmental concerns of hospital even for the sustainability in terms of business must be considered with more priority over the economic concerns. Although economic concerns have less priority, these concerns are important for long term sustainability and also for the continuous improvement in treatment science. Hospital must be more concern about its research and development programmes to help patients to get better treatment for a long time relief. Research and development programmes will help the hospital to learn different treatments for the same dialysis in a more effective and efficient procedure.

References

McGain, F., & Naylor, C. (2014). Environmental sustainability in hospitals–a systematic review and research agenda. Journal of health services research & policy, 19(4), pp. 245-252.

Dempsey, N., Bramley, G., Power, S., & Brown, C. (2011). The social dimension of sustainable development: Defining urban social sustainability. Sustainable development, 19(5), pp. 289-300.

Borgonovi, E., & Compagni, A. (2013). Sustaining universal health coverage: the interaction of social, political, and economic sustainability. Value in health, 16(1), pp. 34-38.

WSLHD. (2018a). About Auburn Hospital. [Online]. Retrieved from: https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Auburn-Hospital/About-us 

WSLHD. (2018b). Quality and Patient Safety. [Online]. Retrieved from: https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Quality---Patient-Safety/Quality---Patient-Safety

WSLHD. (2018c). Research and Education. [Online]. Retrieved from: https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Research---Education

Mizobuchi, H. (2017). Incorporating sustainability concerns in the Better Life Index: Application of corrected convex non-parametric least squares method. Social Indicators Research, 131(3), 947-971.

Heshmati, B., & Joulaei, H. (2016). Iran's health-care system in transition. The Lancet, 387(10013), 29-30.

Gillissen, F., Ament, S. M., Maessen, J. M., Dejong, C. H., Dirksen, C. D., van der Weijden, T., & von Meyenfeldt, M. F. (2015). Sustainability of an enhanced recovery after surgery program (ERAS) in colonic surgery. World journal of surgery, 39(2), pp. 526-533.

Pinzone, M., Guerci, M., Lettieri, E., & Redman, T. (2016). Progressing in the change journey towards sustainability in healthcare: the role of ‘Green’HRM. Journal of Cleaner Production, 122, pp. 201-211.

Popescu, G. H. (2015). Sustainability, public health, and quality of care. American Journal of Medical Research, 2(2), p 211.

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