During a disaster, all hospitals are expected to function as “social critical institutions” that protect the lives and health of people. In recent disasters, numerous hospitals were damaged, and this hampered the recovery of the affected communities. Had these hospitals business continuity plans (BCPs) to recover quickly after the disaster, most of the damage could have been avoided. This study conducted a scoping review of the historical trend and regional differences in hospital BCPs to validate the improvement of the BCP concept based on our own experience at Tohoku University Hospital, which was affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET). We searched PubMed by using keywords related to BCP and adapted 97 articles for our analysis. The number of articles on hospital BCPs has increased in the 2000s, especially after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While there are regional specificity of hazards, there were many common topics and visions for BCP implementation, education, and drills. From our 2011 GEJET experience, we found that BCPs assuming region-specific disasters are applicable in various types of disasters. Thus, we suggest the following integral and universal components for hospital BCPs: (1) alternative methods and resources, (2) priority of operation, and (3) resource management. Even if the type and extent of disasters vary, the development of BCPs and business continuity management strategies that utilize the abovementioned integral components can help a hospital survive disasters in the future.
- Alternative methods and resource
- Business continuity plan (BCP)
- Disaster medicine
- Priority of operation
- Scoping review