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A Framework for Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in Healthcare

Elabed, Salma Sami
A Master of Science thesis in Biomedical Engineering by Salma Sami Elabed entitled, “A Framework for Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in Healthcare”, submitted in December 2019. Thesis advisor is Dr. Abdulrahim Shamayleh. Soft copy is available (Thesis, Approval Signatures, Completion Certificate, and AUS Archives Consent Form).
The concept of sustainability in healthcare has received significant attention in the last decade due to the associated progressive impacts on the environment. With the continuous growth and the associated challenges in healthcare, healthcare managers and experts are promoting the integration of sustainability into their supply chains to achieve sustainable healthcare. Embracing a sustainable approach in healthcare supply chains entails improving current organizational practices and processes by adopting sustainable innovations. Studies have shown that going sustainable in the healthcare industry is essential to achieve cost reduction, improved quality, and lower environmental impact. Sustainability-Oriented Innovation (SOI) is the introduction of new products or organizational processes for achieving sustainable improvement. While there have been significant research contributions conducted towards the adoption of innovations in healthcare and the incorporation of sustainability in healthcare supply chains, there has been no evidence of research collectively considering the concepts of sustainability, innovation, and healthcare supply chains. This work fills the gap in research by providing an SOI framework in healthcare with a focus on sustainable supply chain management. The main objective of this research is to propose an SOI driven assessment guide and decision-making framework for healthcare managers to enhance sustainability by getting informed on which criteria to focus on. To demonstrate the applicability of the proposed framework, healthcare experts from seven large known UAE-based hospitals were interviewed to assess the healthcare SOI criteria using a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method. The results of this study indicate the need to increase knowledge and clarity over the concept of SOI to lead the advancement of the healthcare industry. The SOI framework is used as a guide for administrative managers, and decision-makers in the healthcare industry to assess and enhance sustainability in healthcare by improving existing capabilities, and implementing innovative practices with available resources. The framework provides a direction for future research in SOI practices in the healthcare sector and its supply chains.
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