Model for Assessment of Environmental Responsibility in Health Care Organizations

Model for Assessment of Environmental Responsibility in Health Care Organizations

María Carmen Carnero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain & University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7359-3.ch016
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Sustainability is considered a paradigm for businesses in the 21st century. Despite this, the existing tools for helping to introduce strategies and manage activities to promote sustainable business are few. These deficiencies become more important in healthcare organizations owing to their particular conditions of resource consumption and waste production. It is, therefore, essential to have objective tools to assist in monitoring environmental sustainability in this type of organization. This chapter therefore sets out a multicriteria assessment system constructed by extension to a fuzzy environment of the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal situation (TOPSIS) to assess the environmental responsibility of a healthcare organization. This model allows joint evaluation of a significant number of decision criteria. The aim is to provide a hospital with a model that is easy to apply, with criteria specific to healthcare, and that allows its responsibility with regard to the environment to be monitored over time. The model has been used in a public hospital.
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The literature includes a large number of contributions on environmental questions (Aragones-Beltran et al., 2009; Higgs et al., 2008; Hsu & Hu, 2008; Kang et al., 2007; Lamelas et al., 2008; Liang et al. 2006; Madu, Kuei & Madu, 2002; Pilavachi, Chatzipanagi, & Spyropoulou, 2009; Tzeng & Lin, 2005; Tseng, Lin, & Chiu, 2009; Van Calker et al., 2006). However, these are invariably related to manufacturing, transport or energy companies. In the case of service companies and, in particular, in Health Care Organizations, the contributions are practically non-existent (Carnero, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

TOPSIS: The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) is a multicriteria decision-making approach created by Hwang and Yoon in 1981. It is a compensatory aggregation method based on the concept that the best alternative should have the shortest geometric distance to a positive ideal solution (PIS) and the geometric farthest distance from a negative ideal solution (NIS).

Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: It is a part of operations research that use multiple criteria in decision-making processes providing acceptable compromise solutions when criteria are in conflict. There is a relevant quantity of tools belonging to this category, for example Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Analytic Network Process (ANP), Measuring Attractiveness by a Categorical Based Evaluation Technique (MACBETH), ELimination Et Choix Traduisant la REalité (ELECTRE), Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT), The Preference Ranking Organization METHod for Enrichment of Evaluations (PROMETHEE), etc. The MCDA techniques allow to construct objective models to improve understanding of underlying decision processes in the systemic processes.

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