Every other week, we follow a student from one of our Interdisciplinary Thesis Labs. This week: Cathelijne Pallandt, master student Global Business & Sustainability at Erasmus University Rotterdam from our Sustainable Hospitals Lab organised together with Medical Delta.
Although sustainable healthcare is a challenging and complex issue, it is elevating to see how different departments, companies and researchers are passionate about making healthcare more sustainable.
My name is Cathelijne Pallandt, I am 24 years old and currently live in Amsterdam. I studied Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics at the University of Amsterdam, and I am currently finishing the MSc Global Business & Sustainability in Rotterdam. After finishing a project about sustainability in the operating room last year, I knew that for my thesis I wanted to learn more about sustainable healthcare! When I read about the Sustainable Hospitals Lab program, where students with different backgrounds work together on sustainability matters in the LUMC, I knew this was the right fit for me!
Within my thesis trajectory I focus on sustainable business model innovation in academic hospitals. Through an explorative case study of the LUMC and the influence that external stakeholders have on this hospital, my research aims to answer the following question: How can an academic hospital account for the financial and regulatory tensions that emerge in sustainable healthcare, and manage the influence of external stakeholders to accelerate sustainable development within the hospital? The study will gain insights into these tensions, how these tensions affect external stakeholders and how external stakeholders can steer the LUMC towards sustainable healthcare practices.
Last week, the Lab focussed on the life cycle of products in the hospital. Firstly, Johan Vromans, the Head of Contract and Supplier Management gave several examples on how the LUMC has been working on the repurpose and reuse of hospital furniture in collaboration with one of its suppliers. Afterwards, Allard Jaring, the Logistics Manager, gave us a tour around the waste department of the hospital. Both the tour and the lecture once again showed how important collaboration is between suppliers and the hospital with regards to implementing sustainability. Especially the examples with the coolboxes and the boxes with medical waste caused a lot of discussions within our student group, and I believe that my research will contribute to strengthening collaboration between the LUMC and its suppliers further.
I really enjoy working together with students from different disciplines through the Lab, and the workshops portray the diverse angles that need to be taken into account when implementing sustainability in a hospital. Although this is a challenging and complex issue, it is elevating to see how different departments, companies and researchers are passionate about making healthcare more sustainable. I hope that through the Lab, we as students will contribute to this sustainable development as well!