Irene Steenbruggen is a respiratory physiologist in Isala Hospital in Zwolle, The Netherlands.
The first ERS Congress she attended was in Berlin in 1997, which was a good start to meet people from across the world and develop professional links.
Her focus is on quality control in the pulmonary function laboratory, she has been involved in education on various aspects of pulmonary function testing at the national and international level.
Together with Brendan Cooper, she was co-chair of the European Spirometry Driving Licence (ESDL) project, which was launched in 2008 with the aim of harmonising training in spirometry throughout Europe. This project was a good example of a team effort between international colleagues in cooperation with ERS staff and resulting in the delivery of standardized spirometry training around the world.
Because the quality of spirometry is dependent on the quality of education, the team developed a Train-the-Trainer course to give anyone who teaches spirometry, the practical techniques, knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to deliver effective spirometry training.
Irene Steenbruggen was involved in developing CASPIR, a comprehensive multi-disciplinary educational spirometry programme in The Netherlands. She was also involved in the development of an accreditation programme for pulmonary function laboratories in The Netherlands.
She was co-chair of the ATS/ERS Standardization of Spirometry 2019 Update. She always wants to improve the patient’s experience. Together with ELF an online survey was designed in 10 languages to collect patients’ experiences of spirometry testing. The results of the survey provided useful feedback for healthcare professionals involved in spirometry testing.
She is continuously involved in several task forces on lung function testing and in task forces of the Global Lung Function Initiative on reference equations.
Within ERS she served as Secretary and Chair of the group of Lung function technologists and scientists, and as Secretary and Head of the Allied Respiratory Professionals Assembly.