Sustainability within interventional radiology: opportunities and hurdles

Anouk de Reeder, Pim Hendriks, Helena Plug - van der Plas, Dirk Zweers, Philine S.M. van Overbeeke, Joost Gravendeel, Johan W.H. Kruimer, Rutger W. van der Meer, Mark C. Burgmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Healthcare is a highly polluting industry and attention to the need for making this sector more sustainable is growing. The interventional radiology (IR) department is a relatively unique department in the hospital because of its synergetic use of both imaging equipment and medical instruments. As a result, the interventional radiology department causes a significant environmental burden in terms of energy usage, waste and water pollution. The aim of this study was to explore the current state of sustainability within IR by conducting a survey and interviews among IR specialists in the Netherlands. Results: The main findings of this study were that there is a high awareness for the need of sustainability within IR, but that there is still limited action. Previous studies point towards the various opportunities in the field of energy, waste and water pollution, yet our study unveils these opportunities are often not implemented because of (1) sustainability not being a priority, (2) a dependency on employees, and (3) factors that simply cannot be changed by an individual IR department or hospital. Generally, our study indicates that there is a willingness to become more sustainable, but that the current system involves a wide range barriers that hinder true change. Furthermore, it seems that no one is currently taking the lead and a leading role from higher management, government, healthcare authorities or professional societies is lacking. Conclusions: Despite the hurdles found in our study, IR departments can implement several improvements. An important factor is that sustainability should not lead to lower convenience for employees, which can be ensured by a sufficiently designed waste infrastructure and behavioral nudges. Furthermore, there lies an opportunity in more collaboration between IR departments in knowledge sharing and open innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalCVIR Endovascular
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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© 2023, The Author(s).

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