Tossing Unused Surgical Supplies Wastes Millions Of Dollars, Study Finds

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Tossing Unused Surgical Supplies Wastes Millions Of Dollars, Study Finds

September 8th, 2016








Source: Ana B. Ibarra, California Healthline

It’s long been a problem for the nation’s hospitals: A staggering number of medical supplies — from surgical gloves to sponges to medications — go unused and are discarded after surgeries.

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has put a price tag on that waste: almost $1,000 per procedure examined at the academic medical center.

The research, published in May in the Journal of Neurosurgery, examined 58 neurosurgeries performed by 14 different surgeons at UCSF Medical Center, a leading academic hospital…

As health care costs continue to skyrocket, it is important to look for ways to contain them, said Dr. Michael Lawton, a neurosurgeon at UCSF and one of the study’s authors…

Some medical devices, whether used or unused during surgery, can be reprocessed by an FDA-approved third party company and sold back to the hospital for about half the original sales price, Lee explained. This allows hospitals to save money and cut down on the volume of disposable supplies that end up in landfill.

This strategy saved UCSF hospitals about $1.1 million over the past year, Lee said.

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Practice Greenhealth Launching Tool to Help Hospitals Compare Long-Term Equipment Costs

September 8th, 2016









Source: Adam Rubenfire, Modern Healthcare

Practice Greenhealth has made yet another move into supply chain with the expected launch of a tool that helps hospitals forecast the total cost of using and maintaining a product, beyond just the purchase price.

The Greenhealth Cost of Ownership Calculator will let hospitals compare the often-hidden costs that come with purchasing equipment, such as maintenance, energy, water use and disposal. The Reston, Virginia-based not-for-profit, which helps its hospital members implement sustainable best practices, hopes the tool will help hospitals see the benefit of “green products” in reducing long-term costs…

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Controlling Costs with SUD Reprocessing

September 2nd, 2016




Source: Bill Scott, Healthcare Business Today

Single-use device (SUD) reprocessing is one of the top healthcare supply chain strategies used to reduce costs and optimize resources, with more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals purchasing reprocessed SUDs, according to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR). Some hospitals see savings of more than $600,000 annually through their recycling and redistribution initiatives. However, reaching that level of savings, and working to grow it year-over-year, requires internal support and frequent monitoring to analyze areas for added growth, as well as careful evaluations of potential roadblocks to reprocessing savings.

If you’re not sure if your new device contract may impact your ability to reprocess, visit AMDR’s dedicated resource to help health systems identify and address these types of tactics.

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AMDR Memo to Members on Maximizing Reprocessing Benefits and Addressing Competitive Threats

August 26th, 2016

To: AMDR Members

From: Dan Vukelich, President

Date: 08/23/2016

Re: Surge of Anti-Reprocessing Contracting Practices

The mission at the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) includes promoting the financial and environmental benefits of regulated “single-use” device (SUD) reprocessing.  AMDR is aware of certain types of contractual and otherwise misleading practices used by some medical device manufacturers which may purport to promote SUD reprocessing or reduce costs, but in fact, may result in less reprocessing and therefore less financial savings and environmental benefits to our healthcare partners.

Consistent with our mission, AMDR is pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource to address some of these challenges – AMDR believes that our healthcare partners are entitled to a transparent and clear understanding of new contract terms regarding sales of SUDs and potential implications for reprocessing programs…

Full memo available here.



Global Reprocessed Medical Devices Market – Rising Medical Waste and Demand to Reduce Healthcare Expenses to Benefit the Market Globally

August 26th, 2016

Transparency Market Research

Cardiovascular Devices Take the Lead

The global reprocessed medical devices market is expected to exhibit an exceptional 19.3% CAGR by revenue over the period between 2014 and 2020. The market had a revenue-wise valuation of US$898.7 mn in 2015. In terms of volume, the global market is expected to rise to 56.04 mn by 2020. The segment of cardiovascular devices saw the most traction, with 13.69 mn devices reprocessed and/or sold globally in 2015. In terms of revenue as well, the segment of reprocessed cardiovascular devices held the dominant position, with a valuation of US$599.3 mn in the same year. Geography-wise, North America emerged as the clear leader in the global reprocessed medical devices market as of 2015.

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Download free sample of the report here.

Are Disposable Hospital Supplies Trashing the Environment?

August 23rd, 2016

Healthy Debate

Source: Wendy Glauser, Jeremy Petch & Sachin Pendharkar, Healthy Debate

It’s something that a patient who is worried about a surgery or recovering from a trauma is unlikely to think about. But behind the scenes, plastic syringes, single-use gowns, sterile packaging, surgical instruments and much more are piling into dumpsters.

According to a new report from the Ontario Hospital Association, North American operating rooms alone are responsible for 20%-33% of total hospital waste.

The problem may be getting worse – due to patient safety, cost and convenience, more and more clinical instruments and supplies are being marked as “single use” and thrown out.

Disposables can also be cost-driven. They’re sometimes cheaper than buying much more expensive reusable supplies that must be washed and are themselves thrown out with wear and tear…. In many other cases, however, disposables are more expensive in the long run.

In the US, several organizations are calling for more environmental products. Earlier this year, four major health care companies and two NGOs launched the Greenhealth Exchange, an organization that will investigate and promote green alternatives.

In addition, this September, the non-profit Practice Green Health is launching a free “total cost of ownership tool” that will help hospitals understand the long-term costs of disposable versus reusable products. The tool allows hospitals to enter everything from the costs they pay to dispose waste, to how often they’ll need to repurchase disposables, to the costs of water for sterilization. “If you look at just the price tag for the item, disposables seem far cheaper. But by capturing some of the cost to use the product over the long term, you’re making a better informed purchasing decision,” explains Beth Eckl, director of the Environmental Purchasing Program at Practice Greenhealth.


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AMDR Member Companies Now Serve ALL of U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-2017 “Honor Roll” Hospitals

August 19th, 2016

Washington D.C. – Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases their annual list of the Best Hospitals across the country, including the highly coveted “Honor Roll” list that distinguishes the hospitals best ranked out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated.  This year, only 153 hospitals were ranked nationally in one or more specialties to be determined as a “Best Hospital,” and of these, 20 hospitals made the cut to be among those in the “Honor Roll.”

This year, the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) is proud to announce that its members serve ALL of the hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” List.

Read More about the Honor Roll Hospitals.



Environmental Stewardship Pays Off for Colorado Hospital

August 18th, 2016


 What started as a grassroots effort less than a decade ago has grown to be a substantial force for positive change in the health care field.



Source: Sean Moores, Greenhealth Magazine

At a quarterly meeting, an associate at Littleton Adventist Hospital suggested that the hospital implement a sustainability program. Recognizing how well caring for the environment aligns with their mission, the Sustainability Advisory Committee (affectionately called the green team) began as a grassroots effort in 2008. It is now one of the premier environmental sustainability programs not just in Colorado, but across the entire country.

The program started with the hospital taking inventory of all existing initiatives that could be classified as green and began assessing progress on each of those initiatives. Tracking regulated medical waste started in 2006 and through education, audits and implementation of reusable sharps collection containers, the hospitals experienced a 47 percent reduction in medical waste over the course of the last decade. Littleton Adventist Hospital was the first hospital within Centura Health to put this program into practice; the program is now in all 17 Centura Health hospitals…

Littleton Adventist Hospital’s commitment to environmental stewardship has paid off. It has seen consistent improvement in areas such as recycling and energy use (with a 42.9 percent waste diversion rate in 2015, up from 34.4 percent in 2014), and through recycling, composting, reprocessing, reusing, repurposing and donations.

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Practice Greenhealth Honorees Reduced, Reused and Recycled their Way to the Top

August 17th, 2016









Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR Recognition Award is a competitive award which celebrates facilities that make substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment.

Here are the honorees for the 2016 Greening the OR Circle of Excellence:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Harborview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Marymount Hospital
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Regions Hospital
  • University of Maryland Medical Center
  • University of Vermont Medical Center
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center
  • Yale New Haven Hospital

And here are some tools that these award-winning facilities utilize in order to make a positive environmental impact:

  • Regulated Medical Waste Reduction

  • Clinical Plastics Recycling

  • Reusable Canister Fluid
    Management Systems

  • Rigid Sterilization Containers

  • Reprocessing Single-Use
    Medical Devices

    Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, surpassed its goal to collect and purchase 75 percent reprocessed compression devices, diagnostic ultrasound catheters, EP catheters and cables, external fixation devices, opened and unused or expired devices, tourniquet cuffs, endoscopic trocars and laparoscopic devices and achieved a 78 percent compliance rate in 2015. As a result, the hospital was able to save 20 tons of waste and $12,000 in avoided waste disposal costs. On the purchasing side, Yale New Haven Hospital was able to save more than $1.2 million on purchasing reprocessed single-use medical devices.

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Sustainability and Fiscal Sensibility

August 12th, 2016

PGH 8.11






Maintaining an ecofriendly supply chain puts the ‘eco’ in economics.

Source: Sean Moores, Greenhealth Magazine

In supply chain management, it often all comes down to the financial bottom line. So how does a health system balance environmental responsibility with the challenges of ensuring ready and affordable access to the materials and equipment necessary for its day-to-day operations?

Health systems trying to minimize their impact on the environment while lowering costs and retaining a competitive advantage are finding it is possible to create a sustainable supply chain and still be responsive to financial obligations…

Companies can’t give up their competitive advantage to become sustainable or they won’t be in business for long. There must be tangible benefits from green supply chain initiatives in addition to environmental conservation.

The good news is that there is often a direct financial benefit to creating a sustainable supply chain beyond the positive public perception that comes with being ecofriendly. Sustainability can help direct purchasing decisions in a way that will provide benefits for both the business and the environment…


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