The Focus on Hospitals

Hospitals can be seen as a blueprint of socioeconomic infrastructure: equivalent to gas, electricity and communications networks, hospitals act as hubs of the healthcare system and play an important role for upkeeping the operational status of a society in everyday life and in crisis situations. Accordingly, a high operational reliability of these critical points of connection is very important. Simultaneous to the increasingly complex interrelationships and interdependencies of critical infrastructure, their vulnerability to external disturbances such as natural events, cyber-attacks or power outages increases as well. This may cause incalculable consequences for individual parts or the entire network.


Project Approach

Using the example of a hospital (here the St. Josefshospital) located in the model region of Krefeld, vulnerabilities are being analyzed regarding the risks the hospital as socioeconomic infrastructure is exposed to, as well as how to improve their resilience in evacuation conditions in the context of disaster preparedness planning. Concepts are being developed for this to provide essential medical care and support for patients by including technical, psychological, social, and ethical aspects. A particular focus lies on cooperative work between agencies and organizations with security tasks (“BOS”) and structures of everyday health care at the municipal level in a complex crisis situation. This is researched both within the hospital (by hardening the facility), as well as during an evacuation situation and the subsequent decentralized accommodation and care in other care facilities (hospitals, schools, kindergartens or similar) spanning over a longer period of time. Following this, we will study the creation of regular medical care structures and the subsequent return to “normalcy”. The results created for the model region of Krefeld will then be generalized to be used in other medical facilities, scenarios and socio-cultural contexts as well as to find limits of generalizability.



RESIKs potential of innovation lies within the development of transferable tools specifically for disaster protection planning for medical facilities such as hospitals. This also includes the development of a transferable concept of an adequate staff framework exercise on how to evacuate a hospital at management level as a simulation which includes all BOS, recommendations on how medical support and care of patients can be organized on a decentralized level, as well as the development and review of a flow analysis model with the inclusion of human and social factors and vulnerabilities during the evacuation of a hospital.

The project consists of a transdisciplinary network, is innovative and insures praxis orientation and applicability of results though the participation of the city of Krefeld and the DRK as “full-time partners?” which is necessary to achieve the set goals.