3 steps to reduce hospitals’ environmental impact

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3 steps to reduce hospitals’ environmental impact

April 24th, 2014

Going green could save hospitals billions of dollars.

Hospitals could save billions by going green, according toDallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily.  “From water conservation and waste management efforts, to switching to electronic medical records (EMRs), to purchasing and using non-toxic and reusable cleaning supplies, hospitals are increasingly aware of their environmental impact on patients and their community.”

The healthcare industry produces 8 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But hospitals could save $5.4 billion over five years and as much as $15 billion over a decade by adopting more sustainable practices, according to a 2012 study from the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health. Those practices include reducing medical and landfill waste, making more efficient OR supply purchases and using reprocessed rather than single-use devices, according to the article.

Read more: here

Medline Reveals How Health Systems Reduce Waste, Maintain Quality and Achieve Millions in Savings

April 23rd, 2014

Sustainability, Quality, Value – Can Healthcare Have It All?

Hospitals operate all day, every day, making their environmental footprint large, generating approximately 7,000 tons per day of infectious, hazardous and solid waste and consuming large amounts of energy and water. Industry involvement in and support of sustainability efforts is no longer a question of “why” or “when,” but “how.”

While the opportunities to go green are increasingly available, too many are tied to the issues of cost, adoption and quality of care. “A quotesustainability solution is not realistic if it doesn’t take into account the burgeoning issues of healthcare reform,” says Frank Czajka, president of Medline Industries, Inc.’s ReNewal reprocessing division. “It also requires ongoing staff education.”

As a leading medical supplier, Medline is committed to providing realistic sustainable measures with a strong ROI to healthcare systems. Through its uniquely structured Medline ReNewal reprocessing program, hospitals can “green” their ORs to help reduce waste by as much 5,000 to 15,000 pounds for a typical 200-bed facility. In fact, Medline Renewal is on track to reprocess more than one million medical devices, including ultrasonic scalpels, shavers, blades and trocars, through contracts with more than 900 health facilities nationwide by year’s end. That alone is projected to divert nearly a half million pounds of medical device waste from landfills – the equivalent of five million empty plastic water bottles, and can save each facility on average between $600,000 and $1 million a year in surgical device acquisition costs, according to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors.

Read the full story here



CleanMed 2014 Pre-Conference Workshop to focus on Greening the OR

April 15th, 2014

Tuesday, June 3

8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

It’s been four years since the formalization of the Greening the OR Initiative, and over 400 facilities have endorsed and implemented the various strategies to green their surgical departments.  During this preconference workshop, attendees will review the importance of environmental sustainability in the operating room, learn of the new data gathered from the first Greening the OR Award, and will discuss establishing a set of metrics and new targets for the operating room.  Attendees will have the option to choose one of three different sessions – one focused on waste minimization strategies with new case studies, one focused on clinician engagement and physician-led efforts, and one focused on energy and water savings strategies in the OR and SPD.  Attendees will have an opportunity for facilitated discussion with all of the workshop’s speakers, and will be asked to collaborate on several strategy-building activities.

Learning Objectives

* Attendees will review the importance of targeting the surgical department in environmental sustainability practices.

*Attendees will discuss waste minimization strategies, water and energy savings strategies, and clinician and physician engagement opportunities in the operating room.

*Attendees will learn about new data gathered from the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards and discuss how to establish metrics from that information.

*Attendees will participate in a facilitated discussion and group activities identifying new strategies and opportunities around their Greening the OR efforts.


See the announcement and agenda here

The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors Welcomes New Members Medline ReNewal and Vanguard

April 11th, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 11, 2014 – The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), the global trade association representing the interests of the third-party medical device reprocessing industry, today announces the addition of Medline ReNewal and Vanguard AG to its membership roster.  Medline ReNewal and Vanguard join Stryker Sustainability Solutions as AMDR members.  The growth in AMDR’s domestic and international membership base is representative of the significant growth the reprocessing industry has experienced in recent years due, in part, to the cost-savings potential reprocessing delivers to hospitals. By participating in AMDR, member companies are demonstrating a collaborative commitment to expand reprocessing services to bring increased value to national and international hospitals without sacrificing care quality.

“Value-based healthcare is replacing volume-based healthcare with hospitals now more eager than ever for solutions to reduce waste, maximize the value of their purchasing decisions, and promote sustainability,” said Dan Vukelich, president and CEO of AMDR. “Medical device reprocessing is one of the first programs clinicians employ to dramatically cut care delivery costs while providing their patients with the same standard of care.”

Since AMDR’s founding in 1997, medical device reprocessing and the value it provides to healthcare systems has grown tremendously – from a $20 million industry in the U.S. in 2000, to an estimated half billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone today.  AMDR’s members now serve a majority of U.S. hospitals, including the country’s Honor Roll hospitals, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  As international governments grapple with how to make healthcare delivery more financially, and environmentally sustainable, all while maintaining a high quality of care, the critical role of medical device reprocessing programs in hospitals and health systems will only continue to grow.

AMDR was founded to promote the legal, regulatory and trade interests of the third-party medical device reprocessing industry.  AMDR’s members reprocess, or clean, test, inspect, remanufacture and sterilize single-use devices (SUDs) making them safe for reuse.  SUD reprocessing is strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and in Germany it must comply with the guidelines of the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.  AMDR members are ISO 13485 compliant, among other internationally-recognized standards.


 About Medline ReNewal

Medline ReNewal is based in Redmond, Oregon and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Medline Industries, Inc., the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies in the United States.  Medline ReNewal is an FDA-registered third-party medical device reprocessor of single-use devices with an unwavering commitment to patient safety, surgeon satisfaction and FDA compliance.  Started in 1997, Medline Renewal is a nationally recognized reprocessing market leader and trusted partner of thousands of physicians and healthcare facilities across the country.  Through reprocessing, Medline ReNewal’s customers realize two significant benefits: financial savings which can be re-directed toward enhancing positive patient care and medical waste reduction which demonstrates positive environmental stewardship.  For more information, please visit medlinerenewal.com.


About Vanguard AG

Vanguard AG, based in Berlin, Germany, is Europe’s largest commercial medical device reprocessor.  It is the European market leader in the validated special reprocessing of complex medical devices, ensuring patient, user, and third-party safety.  It also provides outsourcing concepts for the central reprocessing of sterile goods in hospitals.  The company supplies integrated system solutions, with developing strategies for long-term growth in profitability and implementing processes in a quality assured manner.  The company was founded in 1998 where it set up the first industrial special reprocessing plant for medical devices in Europe. Since then, more than four million medical devices labeled “for single use” have been reprocessed at these sites. For more information, please visit vanguard-healthcare.com.


About Stryker Sustainability Solutions

Stryker Sustainability Solutions (and its precursor companies) is a founding member of AMDR.  As a division of Stryker Corporation, it is a leading provider of reprocessing and remanufacturing services for medical devices as well as comprehensive recycling and redistribution initiatives. For more information about Stryker’s commitment to the smart, efficient delivery of healthcare, visit sustainability.stryker.com.


About the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors

AMDR represents the interests of the global regulated third-party, “single-use” medical device reprocessing industry. Hospitals incorporate third-party reprocessing into their supply chain and realize the economic, safety, and environmental benefits complimenting this strategy. For more information, please visit us via Twitter, or Facebook.


Enroll in HHI and Submit your Data to be Featured Nationally in the HHI Milestone Report

April 10th, 2014

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a vital initiative that is harnessing the power of America’s hospitals to improve health care’s impact in its communities. HHI enrollees demonstrate improved patient, staff and community health, reduced environmental impact, and considerable financial savings. Our success is tracked and presented in a special Milestone Report, which shows you are performing at a higher level than most health care facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

The power of HHI comes from the data. By utilizing standardization methods we can truly shift the health care sector towards sustainability and measure the progress. For this to happen, we need as much data on our six HHI “Challenges” as we can collect.

Enroll in HHI and select one or more Challenge areas that you want to take on. When you complete your initial data entry to create your baseline by                    April 15, 2014, the data deadline, you will be featured in the HHI Milestone Report and all of the media, press and promotion that comes along with it.

See story and instructions for enrollment here


International Top 30 Green Hospitals Revealed

April 8th, 2014

A newly released article reveals many of the greatest achievements in environmentally friendly construction in the health industry. The article celebrates the 30 most environmentally friendly hospitals in the world. Each hospital was selected based on criteria including certifications from environmental bodies, recycling efforts, green construction and innovative energy saving features.

Many of the hospitals on the list have been the recipients of prestigious awards. The Bronson Methodist Hospital, for instance, was awarded the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Leadership Circle Award. Meanwhile, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was named Project of the Year in the New Construction category of the US Green Building Council’s National Capital Region Chapter. The University Hospital of South Manchester received the 2012 Ashden Award after its adoption of a new energy efficiency plan succeeded in reducing carbon emissions by 28 percent.

“Power-guzzling hospitals around the world are increasingly going green in an attempt to minimize their carbon footprints. We created this list for budding healthcare administrators to showcase 30 forward-thinking hospitals that are doing their bit to help save the planet.”  The majority of the hospitals on the list have received LEED Gold certification. Most have found unique ways of removing waste efficiently, reducing energy usage or improving air quality.

Read the full story here

See the report here


The Easiest Way for ASCs to Save Today: Sterile Reprocessing Single-Use Devices

April 4th, 2014

Becker’s ASC Review reports that, sterile reprocessing for single-use devices is becoming more common among healthcare providers, including ambulatory surgery centers. Since the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement supporting sterile reprocessing following their regulatory requirements in 2006, many ASCs around the country have taken advantage of these waste-reduction and cost saving programs.

Two major players in the market include MEDISISS and Stryker Sustainability Solutions, both of which ASD Management uses in its centers. “These companies receive the used devices, reprocess them and repurpose them to a safe, like-new condition,” says Vice President, Business Development at ASD Management Charles Dailey. “There are high quality controls to support their sterility. Then the devices are returned with a very fast turnaround.”

“Reprocessing can generate substantial savings,” says Mr. Dailey. “One of our facilities in Florida saved $38,000 in 2013 just from their reprocessing program. A second reason to consider reprocessing is the environmental contributions. Reprocessing prevents thousands of tons of medical waste nationwide each year.”

“The reprocessing companies guarantee the facilities receive back a device that is just as effective as a new one, but at a lower cost,” says Mr. Dailey. “Some physicians might have pushed back in the old days because negative attention was placed on reprocessing, but today’s technology truly refurbishes the devices and they are as effective and as sterile as they need to be.”

Read the full article here

Hospitals take steps to set healthy examples for patients

April 3rd, 2014

Boston Globe reports that, More than 40 hospitals in Massachusetts, including all 10 in the Partners HealthCare system, and 900 hospitals nationwide have joined a healthier hospitals initiative, launched in 2012.  “Hospitals have healing as their core value, yet they unwittingly contribute to chronic disease in our society by selling junk food, being enormous users of toxic chemicals and energy resources, and generating a ton of waste,” said Gary Cohen, president of the nonprofit group Health Care Without Harm that organized the initiative.

The health care system will also see fiscal improvements from hospitals that practice conservation: A 2012 study by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care research organization, calculated that the nation’s medical care costs would be reduced by $15 billion over 10 years if all hospitals switched to energy-efficient systems; reprocessed and reused operating room supplies; and reduced medical waste through more recycling. The study — which based its projections on changes made by Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and 16 other hospitals nationwide — challenges the assumption that the high upfront costs will cancel out any savings, Messervy, of Partners HealthCare, said.

In developing the healthier hospitals initiative, Cohen said he believes it’s the larger mission of hospitals to lead the way toward sustainability. “We started with hospitals, but we’re hoping this idea will spread to other institutions.”

Read the full story here

Stryker Sustainability Solutions Brings Record-Setting $255 Million In Reprocessing Savings To U.S. Hospitals

March 31st, 2014

Growth of Stryker Sustainability Solutions’ single-use medical device reprocessing and remanufacturing services produced a record-setting $255 million in supply cost savings for its more than 2,500 hospital and health system customers in 2013.

“We’re seeing growing interest in reprocessing in two ways: 1) new health systems considering reprocessing that haven’t done it before and, 2) among the many hospitals who already are reprocessing, they are focused on growing the cost-savings that result from reprocessing. Once our customers see the results that our programs can deliver, and can embed reprocessing into their organization’s culture, savings continue to grow year-over-year,” said Brian White, President, Stryker Sustainability Solutions. “Together, with our customers, we’re also finding ways to expand our portfolio of devices to maximize hospital cost-savings and assist with sustainability efforts.”

One of the success stories about the positive impact of reprocessing in 2013 was Yankee Alliance, a group purchasing organization dedicated to reducing supply and operating expenses for its members. According to Craig Shoukimas, Vice President of Contracting for Yankee Alliance, “Stryker Sustainability Solutions has an unmatched reputation for delivering savings to our members. In 2013, Yankee Alliance members saved $4.9 million through reprocessing—a new record, and one of the many reasons we decided to pursue an exclusive agreement with Stryker for reprocessing of single-use devices.”

“As our nation’s healthcare system continues to evolve, care providers need innovative solutions that help reduce costs and we believe reprocessing single-use devices will continue to play a major role,” White added. “To expand the savings we provide to our customers, Stryker is dedicated to finding opportunities to better engineer original manufacturer devices to be reprocessed, as well as to pursue 510(k) clearance for reprocessing some of the most-expensive, highest-volume devices customers use today.”

In addition to sharing and contributing to the financial goals of its customers, Stryker Sustainability Solutions supports their environmental goals through medical device waste diversion. In 2013, Stryker customers eliminated 8.9 million pounds of waste from landfills, an increase in 1.3 million pounds of waste diverted in 2012.

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UK hospital staff get tips on how to go green in sustainability day

March 28th, 2014

Working greener could help a hospital trust to save money.  Sustainability was put on top of the healthcare agenda when Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, took part in its third annual NHS Sustainability Day.

‘The NHS is responsible for around 40 per cent of the England’s public sector carbon emissions so has a huge role to play.  ‘The NHS has set a target of a 34 per cent reduction in its carbon footprint by 2020 and a 50 per cent reduction by 2025.  ‘We back this strategy and are working hard to achieve it in areas such as energy use, procurement, transport and waste disposal.

‘Our staff are key to helping us to meet these targets and we will be encouraging them to participate in any way they can.  ‘The benefits to our staff can include lower energy bills at home and a fitter, healthier lifestyle.’  Personal travel planning, recycling and looking at low-emission vehicles were all covered at yesterday’s event.

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