Sustainability in Healthcare: Perspectives and Reflections Regarding Laboratory Medicine

Ann Lab Med. 2021 Mar 1;41(2):139-144. doi: 10.3343/alm.2021.41.2.139.


Healthcare structures serve to protect and improve public health; however, they can have negative effects on human well-being and the environment. Thus, sustainability is an important target in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. We analyzed the state of the art in research on healthcare and sustainability by exploring literature on different healthcare systems and their relations with the environment. Our review presents conceptual and practical developments regarding sustainability, as well as an overview of their evolution in the healthcare sector over time. We also discuss how sustainability could be applied to reduce the environmental impact of clinical laboratories by ensuring that resources are used efficiently and responsibly. Finally, we describe how laboratory medicine can contribute to a sustainable healthcare system through integration of innovation and emerging technologies while providing high-quality services to patients and caregivers.

Keywords: Environment; Healthcare; Laboratory medicine; Sustainability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories*