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Article

A Transparency Checklist for Carbon Footprint Calculations Applied within a Systematic Review of Virtual Care Interventions

1
Department of Health Care Management, Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research, Health Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Leibniz ScienceCampus Digital Public Health Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3
Professional Public Decision Making, Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
4
Faculty of Business Studies and Economics, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127474
Received: 18 May 2022 / Revised: 13 June 2022 / Accepted: 14 June 2022 / Published: 18 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change)
Increasing concerns about climate change imply that decisions on the digitization of healthcare should consider evidence about its carbon footprint (CF). This study aims to develop a transparency catalogue for reporting CF calculations, to compare results, and to assess the transparency (reporting quality) of the current evidence of virtual care (VC) intervention. We developed a checklist of transparency criteria based on the consolidation of three established standards/norms for CF calculation. We conducted a systematic review of primary studies written in English or German on the CF of VC interventions to check applicability. Based on our checklist, we extracted methodological information. We compared the results and calculated a transparency score. The checklist comprises 22 items in the aim, scope, data and analysis categories. Twenty-three studies out of 1466 records were included, mostly addressing telemedicine. The mean transparency score was 38% (minimum 14%, maximum 68%). On average, 148 kg carbon dioxide equivalents per patient were saved. Digitization may have co-benefits, improving care and reducing the healthcare CF. However, the evidence for this is weak, and CF reports are heterogeneous. Our transparency checklist may serve as a reference for developing a standard to assess the CF of virtual and other healthcare and public health services. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon footprint; carbon dioxide equivalents; greenhouse gas; digital health; virtual care; telemedicine; telehealth; e-health; digital public health; systematic review carbon footprint; carbon dioxide equivalents; greenhouse gas; digital health; virtual care; telemedicine; telehealth; e-health; digital public health; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lange, O.; Plath, J.; Dziggel, T.F.; Karpa, D.F.; Keil, M.; Becker, T.; Rogowski, W.H. A Transparency Checklist for Carbon Footprint Calculations Applied within a Systematic Review of Virtual Care Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 7474. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127474

AMA Style

Lange O, Plath J, Dziggel TF, Karpa DF, Keil M, Becker T, Rogowski WH. A Transparency Checklist for Carbon Footprint Calculations Applied within a Systematic Review of Virtual Care Interventions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(12):7474. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127474

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lange, Oliver, Julian Plath, Timo F. Dziggel, David F. Karpa, Mattis Keil, Tom Becker, and Wolf H. Rogowski. 2022. "A Transparency Checklist for Carbon Footprint Calculations Applied within a Systematic Review of Virtual Care Interventions" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 12: 7474. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127474

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