Sustainability in Orthopaedic surgery
by Mr Vipin Asopa, Consultant Hip & Knee Surgeon
15th July 2022
Sustainability is topical, but what does it mean in terms of Orthopaedic Surgery?
I recently presented at the EFORT Congress in Lisbon (European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology) on this topic, exploring the three pillars of sustainability in orthopaedic practice.
The three elements of sustainability are financial sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. Here are the factors that I discussed:
Environmental sustainability involves looking at every aspect of our practice to preserve energy, reduce consumption, recycle waste, and to optimise usage to protect our environment. This means reducing and segregating waste correctly in outpatients, on the wards and in the operating theatre environment. It also means reducing energy consumption and reducing water waste and re-using equipment where it is possible and safe to do so.
Social sustainability considers the workforce and patient’s well-being. It also considers factors such as hierarchy of needs in allowing patients and staff to consider sustainability once their other needs have been met. Respect for colleagues and ensuring that people feel happy means that people can focus on providing the best possible care.
Financial sustainability includes ensuring that treatments used are cost-effective, providing the best possible outcomes. Low failure rates and complications further reduce the costs of healthcare.
Considering these elements in the hospital environment is important so that everyone can do their best for the patient.