The Smart Hospital initiative builds on the Safe Hospital Initiative and focuses on improving hospitals' resilience, strengthening structural and operational aspects and providing green technologies. Energy improvements include solar panels installations, electric storage batteries, and low-consumption electrical systems, which, in addition to reducing energy consumption, reduce health sector carbon footprint in the environment and provide the hospital with energy autonomy, allowing it to continue running during emergencies and disasters.
Piloted in 2012 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts and Nevis, the Smart Hospitals project is one of PAHO’s largest partnership initiatives, together with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), now called FCDO.
Smart Hospitals have already shown their cost-effectiveness and resilience to disasters. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Georgetown Hospital (benefiting from the intervention of a Smart hospital) was the only one that remained functional after a severe storm-affected 39 clinics and the reference hospital (Milton Cato Hospital). In addition, this hospital became a water supply center for the community after the storm, using rainwater reserves.
Caribbean countries are encouraged to tackle global challenges including climate change and diseases by using smart standards in all health facilities.
Although the Smart Hospital concept has not been implemented in Latin America, countries of the Region are aware of the Safe Hospital initiative, as well as the Hospital Safety Index, which is widely disseminated around the world.