Going Green Starts with Surgeon Demand

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Going Green Starts with Surgeon Demand

July 28th, 2016


In a recent article for Healio, Dr. John A. Hovanesian discusses the environmental and financial implications of excess waste associated with the single-use surgical supplies market, as well as the regulatory and industry changes that could reduce the level of waste in the OR without sacrificing patient safety:

“Federal and state regulators and hospital policymakers currently see little reason to stray from policies of “use once and discard” that generate so much waste. Companies profit by selling more product this way. But well-done studies in first-rate hospitals have shown repeatedly that providing high-quality care does not require the generation of so much waste…”

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Dispelling the Myth of Single Use Device Reprocessing

July 18th, 2016


Dispelling the Myth of Single Use Device Reprocessing: How This ASC Saved $59k & Diverted 4.7k Lbs of Waste

Source: Mary Rechtoris, Becker’s ASC Review

Madison Surgery Center‘s successful partnership with Stryker Sustainability Solutions provides a real world example of the health, safety, waste management, and cost-saving benefits that third party reprocessing can offer to health care systems:

Madison (Wis.) Surgery Center’s strong commitment to being eco-friendly spurred the surgery center to begin using single-use device reprocessing, which also accrued substantial cost savings for the center. Nearly a year after implementing its SUD reprocessing program, the ambulatory surgery center had net savings totaling $59,789 and diverted nearly 4,738 pounds of waste.

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UK Opens Door to Re-Manufacturing of Single-Use Devices

July 15th, 2016





by Vibha Sharma

New guidance from the UK MHRA sets out the conditions under which re-manufacturing of single-use devices is allowed; new CE mark needed and re-manufacturer assumes legal responsibility.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has issued new guidelines that open the door to re-manufacturers of single-use devices (SUDs) by setting out the conditions under which the activity is allowed.

The final guidance clarifies that re-manufacturing is different from re-processing/refurbishment; the MHRA does not allow SUD re-processing. (Also see “UK MHRA consults on single-use device remanufacturing” – Medtech Insight, 23 Jul, 2015.)

The key difference between a re-processor and re-manufacturer is that the latter needs to have a CE mark to bring a product to the market. This point is made in the guideline. In addition, the guideline states that the re-manufacturer would assume the full legal responsibility and liability for the re-manufactured device…

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Is There a Sustainability Imperative for the Healthcare Industry?

July 7th, 2016

green healthcareSource: Lisa Xia, Huffington Post

Healthcare, as we know it, is simply not sustainable. With growing realities including escalating costs shifting market access models; stakeholder and regulatory scrutiny; low patient trust; and an evolving physical environment threatening human health — the industry knows it needs to make itself more sustainable — but the answers might not be so easy to find.

Most healthcare multinationals have long invested in some type of philanthropy, sustainability or CSR programs, although to varying degrees. Typically, these investments focus on the core challenge that healthcare faces as an industry — access to medicine and care. The approach so far has been mostly through philanthropy programs to expand access to those who can’t afford it any other way. Those that go beyond this main challenge tend to do some additional work around three core CSR pillars: people (employee health, community investment, science education); planet (operational efficiency, product stewardship); and performance (business innovation, financial sustainability).

Here are some key practices for ensuring sustainability practices are integrated as part of a holistic approach to healthcare and that they occur at a higher, more strategic level within healthcare systems:

  • Healthcare companies must have a point-of-view about a future healthcare system of the future that is sustainable, delivers access, and presents a value proposition that puts patient results at least equal to profits.
  • As an industry focused on human health, healthcare must be an advocate for policy and partnership that drastically cuts environmental footprint — not just a supporter of environmental stewardship.
  • Being a differentiated company that proactively pursues sustainability integration will create a competitive advantage to customers and get ahead of potential regulation…..

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Four Major Hidden Costs Of Disposing Medical Waste

June 29th, 2016

Waste Management

Source: Carmelo Hannity, The Global Dispatch

The disposal of medical waste may seem like pretty straightforward process. Although the regulations of medical waste disposal have changed over the years, the safety and environmental concerns surrounding such waste are clear. Regardless of whether you’re managing a doctor’s office, blood bank or laboratory, medical waste disposal is a crucial component of  keeping your business in practice and following the law.

Unfortunately, some medical practices find themselves in a financial squeeze when it comes to throwing out waste. If you haven’t done your homework, it’s quite possible that you’re losing unnecessary cash each time your waste is picked up. As more and more practices search for ways to reduce operating expenses, you may be spending way more on waste management than your budget should allow.

The question remains: how do you know if you’re overpaying?

By uncovering the four hidden costs of disposing medical waste, you can streamline your disposal management process, keep your practice’s budget in check, and stay in line with government regulations…

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Kaiser Permanente on a Mission to Become Carbon Positive

June 23rd, 2016


Health system strives to become carbon positive with full recycling of nonhazardous waste.


Re-emphasizing its commitment to sustainability, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., is pursuing ambitious new environmental goals that include becoming carbon positive, buying only sustainably produced food and sending zero waste to landfills by 2025.

The objective is to become carbon net positive without increasing the overall cost of the energy purchased to power its hospitals and other buildings, says Ramé Hemstreet, chief energy officer, Kaiser Permanente.

The health system’s carbon emissions are now 810,000 metric tons, but Hemstreet projects that this number will drop to about 600,000 metric tons when the health system’s new solar and wind projects are fully operational in 2017.

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Setting Health Care EPP Pr ior ities

June 22nd, 2016

Practice Greenhealth provides an insightful overview of environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) practices that are beneficial not only to end users but also to the entire supply chain.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program enables health care facilities to evaluate the success of their EPP practices and incorporate best-practice solutions that strive toward engaged leadership, healthier food options, waste reduction, leaner energy, decreased water usage, and use of safer chemicals.

Practice Greenhealth’s 2016 Partner for Change Award honors health care systems that promote sustainability practices such as introducing EPP practices to stakeholders and partners, and employing EPP practices for waste, energy and water management.

Click here to view Practice Greenhealth’s checklist on ways to promote environmentally preferable purchasing.




Environmental & Health Impacts of the U.S. Health-Care System

June 21st, 2016




Source: Yale University

If the US health-care system were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The study quantified previously unreported environmental and public health impacts of the nation’s healthcare sector.

The U.S. healthcare system, the most expensive in the world, uses vast amounts of energy in the form of heating, electricity, and energy-intensive goods and services. It has been estimated that the healthcare sector contributes 8% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Yet emissions of other pollutants from the healthcare sector, and their impact on the public health, have not been reported…

The research team also reported significant national percentages of non-greenhouse gas effects attributable to the healthcare sector, including acidification (12%), smog formation (10%), and respiratory disease from particulate matter (9%).

“It’s a big contributor to our nation’s environmental impacts,” said Eckelman, “commensurate with its economic impacts.”

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Council and Parliament Representatives Confirm Agreement on Medical Device & IVD Regulations

June 15th, 2016





Brussels, June 15, 2016 – The medical technology industry welcomes the vote on the consolidated medical device and in vitro diagnostics regulation texts by representatives of the Council and the Parliament today.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament and Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) voted to endorse the trilogue agreement this afternoon. The texts can be downloaded and viewed on the European Parliament website.

MedTech Europe, the alliance of the medical device association Eucomed and the in vitro diagnostics association EDMA, continue to recognise the importance of these regulations towards the sector and the healthcare continuum at large.

“Medical technologies save lives, improve health and contribute to sustainable healthcare. And many of the proposed updates in the regulations are welcomed by our industry as they will enhance patient safety and facilitate access to new technology” says Serge Bernasconi, CEO of MedTech Europe.“I believe that the new regulations are critical in filling in the gaps of the existing laws and in bringing a more harmonised set of guidelines across the region”, he adds.

EDMA and Eucomed have already begun working on an in-depth analysis of the regulations to assess the overall impact towards the industry…

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Council and European Parliament Reach Political Agreement on Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Regulations

June 10th, 2016




Following the May 25th European trilogue meeting, a political agreement has been reached on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices regulations.

The two regulations on medical devices and in vitro diagnostics include measures which will have a significant impact on patients, regulators and industry. Serge Bernasconi, CEO of MedTech Europe says “As said before, the medical industry recognizes the importance of these updated regulations. The implementation will require substantial resources from all stakeholders, including industry. It is thus essential to keep the overarching goals of patient safety and innovation in mind during the translation into implementable rules.”

It has been a long process, and the agreement is a significant step towards finalizing modern medical devices and in vitro diagnostic legislation that recognizes the specific nature of medical technologies, contributes to increased patient safety and fosters the development of innovative healthcare solutions.

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