Greenhealth Magazine Announces Top Environmental Excellence Award Winners

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Greenhealth Magazine Announces Top Environmental Excellence Award Winners

June 7th, 2016


Greenhealth Magazine, published by Practice Greenhealth, has announced the 2016 winners of the annual Environmental Excellence Awards.


One significant factor in the selection process continues to be Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), the procurement of goods and services that cause less harm to people and the environment than competing goods and services that serve the same purpose.

Here are some examples of health care systems who have distinguished themselves in the area of environmentally preferable purchasing by implementing single-use device reprocessing programs:

  • Hackensack University Medical Center
    Hackensack, NJ

“HackensackUMC’s program for environmentally preferable purchasing includes working with suppliers, group purchasing organizations and distributors. Its purchasing department green team meets bimonthly to ensure that sustainability is considered in all purchases. Reprocessing savings doubled in 2015 over the prior year…”

  • Harborview Medical Center
    Seattle, WA

Harborview has implemented a number of successful green initiatives including “furniture and medical plastics recycling programs, paper reduction strategies, single-use device reprocessing, and many other intuitive and interconnected waste-reduction programs.”

  • UCSF Medical Center
    San Francisco, CA

UCSF Medical Center’s success in advancing green healthcare “results from single-use device reprocessing, 100 percent surgical kit review, reusable sterilization kits, LED surgical lighting and HVAC setbacks in the operating room.”

  • University of Vermont Medical Center
    Burlington, VT

“With its ubiquitous blue recycling bins, organic meals, and motion-sensor lights, the 392-bed hospital has all the markings of a sustainability-minded organization—and a successful one, at that. Behind-the-scenes efforts such as reprocessing medical devices, installing efficient pumps, and drafting an EPP policy round out the organization’s multidisciplinary approach to sustainability.”


Congrats from AMDR to all of this year’s winners!


Read More.



How Companies Can Do Well by Doing Good

June 2nd, 2016

How Companies Can Do Well by Doing Good

Source: Sarah Begley, TIME

Conventional wisdom holds that corporations are the enemy of the common good, willing to exploit workers and pollute the environment if it helps their bottom line. But in his new book, Connect, John Browne (a former BP CEO who left before the big spill) argues that increasingly the most successful companies are the ones that keep society’s welfare in mind. Consider Unilever, whose sustainability measures–like reducing water use by 32% since 2008–helped boost revenues from €40 billion in 2009 to €48 billion in 2014. On the flip side, Volkswagen’s shares plummeted after news broke that it had cheated on emissions tests. To compete in the modern economy, Browne writes, it’s not enough to make empty promises. Rather, companies must be “far-sighted enough to make friends before they need them and to communicate in a language that exudes authenticity rather than propaganda.”

Read More. (Subscription Required)





Reprocessed Medical Device Market Size to Triple by 2022

May 25th, 2016

Growth Arrow






Reprocessed Medical Device Market Size to Triple by 2022

Source: Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry

The worldwide reprocessed medical device market is set to triple to $5 billion by 2022 as healthcare facilities look to cut costs and reduce medical waste. This forecast, from a study by Grand View Research, Inc., anticipates significant growth from the Asia Pacific region.

The global market is expected to grow at an over 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Almost half (47%) of the $1.141 billion reprocessed medical device market consisted of North American business in 2014, but the report authors expect Asia Pacific to exhibit the highest growth as emerging markets in the region devote more attention to healthcare…

In the past, there was some skepticism of reprocessed single-use devices, but those concerns seem to have faded, as third-party reprocessing is now common among hospitals. The AMDR recently announced that its members work with 13 of the top 15 hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll and that reprocessing is a “best clinical practice.” A study of more than 3000 devices published in the Journal of Medical Devices in December found that defect rates were actually much higher in new bipolar and ultrasound diathermy devices than in reprocessed devices.

Read More.



Appreciating the Value of Sustainability in Health Care

May 19th, 2016

Appreciating the Value of Sustainability in Health Care

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

“Hospitals and care systems that pursue sustainability initiatives find benefits in multiple areas,” noted a 2014 report from the American Hospital Association and the Health Research and Educational Trust, “Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency.”

Others in health care — hospitals, clinics, suppliers and group purchasing organizations — are following suit, as a growing number learn the value of sustainability. A 2012 Commonwealth Fund study looked at hospitals that are reducing energy use and waste, and achieving efficiencies in the operating room. Its striking conclusion: “Savings achievable through these interventions could exceed $5.4 billion over five years and $15 billion over 10 years.”

Read More.

Dr. Terrence Loftus Weighs Quality of Single-Use Devices against Reprocessed Devices

May 13th, 2016

Dr. Terrence Loftus

Source: Surgical Products Magazine

Single-use devices (SUD) and instruments may offer the benefit of using a new tool for each procedure, but a study published in the Journal of Medical Devices found inconsistent quality and higher rate of defects for these items.

To learn more about this study, Surgical Products connected with study author Dr. Terrence Loftus.


Q: What prompted this study? 

To read the the full interview, click here.



Cleveland Clinic Establishes $7.5 Million Green Revolving Fund

May 11th, 2016

Sources: Crain’s Cleveland Business, Modern Healthcare

Cleveland Clinic has announced the establishment of a $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund — the largest of its kind among U.S. healthcare systems, it says.

Energy-efficiency projects pull money from the fund, which then is replenished by reinvesting the savings from reduced energy consumption as well as rebates.

Nationally, the $7.5 million annual commitment, announced during the Better Buildings Summit in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest in any business sector.

“The establishment of this fund strengthens Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to reducing our energy usage and serves as a catalyst for future projects to further reduce our impact on the environment,” said Jon Utech, senior director for Cleveland Clinic’s Office for a Healthy Environment, in a statement. “As a leader in health care, we are continually looking for ways to improve the health of the communities we serve and reduce our operating costs in order to make care more affordable for our patients.”

As part of the challenge, the clinic reduced its energy demand by 12.3% through the end of 2015 by using Energy Star-rated lighting appliances and equipment, making targeted investments, improving energy efficiency of existing buildings through optimization of building systems and other projects.


Single-Use Device Options: Promoting Cost Savings and Infection Prevention

May 6th, 2016



Source: Medical Dealer

In any health care setting, the number-one issue in supply chain management is cost. As hospital budgets tighten and reimbursement rates become more contingent on quality of care, decision-makers are searching for ways to meet the demands of improved outcomes as well as to maintain their bottom lines. As independent studies and FDA opinions have concurred, reprocessed single-use medical devices can provide a viable and cost-effective alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products in many cases, and often at a significant price break. Yet the U.S. market for disposable devices is a multi-billion-dollar industry driven by fierce R&D competition and product-line expansion, particularly in the drug delivery, surgical supply and home health care segments.

According to Dan Vukelich, President of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), only an estimated 2 to 3 percent of single-use medical devices are capable of being reprocessed. Yet because several such devices are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – from laparoscopic surgical tools to equipment used in cardiac catheterization labs – AMDR estimates that the health care savings of reprocessing those devices is approximately $3 billion annually.

“Any cardiology catheter that is tossed in the trash is literally throwing away hundreds of dollars in raw materials or devices that could have been used to reduce the overall procedure cost for any individual case,” Vukelich said, “or it’s better spent on new equipment, or can help reach someone who wouldn’t otherwise have access to care.”

Brian White, President of Stryker Sustainability Solutions, said that hospitals also have embraced both lines of products as an alternative to being forced to choose.

“The use of reprocessed single-use is critical to many hospitals’ ability to sustain operations and deliver the best patient care,” White said. “Many physicians choose to use devices from Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions over original devices because they know Stryker reprocessed devices are substantially equivalent to original devices. They also understand this practice helps them reinvest reprocessing savings to other meaningful patient care initiatives.”

Read More.



Medical Device and IVD Trilogue Discussions

May 5th, 2016

MedTech Europe



Discussions on both the proposed in vitro diagnostic medical device and medical device regulations will continue into May as the Dutch Presidency focus on finalizing compromise positions by the end of this month, in view of reaching a political agreement at the EPSCO meeting on June 17.  Should compromise texts be agreed, a final adoption and publication of the Regulations could be expected as early as Q4 of 2016.

Topics for the next trilogue meeting on May 11, 2016 (expected), are expected to include provisions for well-established products (for medical devices), genetic testing, clinical evidence, vigilance reporting and classification (for IVDs).

Read More.

National Nurses Week: May 6-12, 2016

May 5th, 2016



Practice Greenhealth

Nurses have always been drivers for a healthier hospital. From starting a recycling program that included bringing bags of plastic home to educating new mothers about safe baby care products, our nurses are exhibiting the highest of ethical standards of beneficence. Nurses all over the country are demanding healthier foods for their co-workers and patients, they are advocates for the health care team by promoting safer eco-certified cleaning products and healthier interiors and are creating environmental stewardship exemplars of education and service as part of the Magnet Process.

The nurse members of Practice Greenhealth are coordinating and promoting “greening the operating room” improvement projects, which save materials while providing an efficient and safe perioperative environment. They are waste preventers and patient advocates for population health. Climate resiliency is not an abstract concept. Nurses are on the front lines when extreme weather events hit. They show up to work in the worst weather, bringing a toothbrush and a change of clothes, just in case they need to work a double shift. These same nurses also sit on emergency preparation committees to make sure that hospital staff have the equipment, procedures and training to respond. They sit on other multi-disciplinary committees that design buildings that would bring natural light and healthier materials for the interiors. Nurses testify and advocate in the legislative arena to protect their communities from environmental pollution of air and water.

Read More at Practice Greenhealth

Learn More about National Nurses Week




The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors Celebrates Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2016

Earth Day

The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors is happy to celebrate Earth Day today and congratulate our partners who are committed to implementing sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.  AMDR member-companies are committed to greening healthcare.  SUD reprocessing is one of the most effective sustainability initiatives used by hospitals today.  By using regulated commercial reprocessors, hospitals can not only extend the life of their existing medical devices (and thus save money), but they can also reduce the amount of operating room waste generated.  AMDR has assembled a “green year in review,” highlighting some of the best green reprocessing-related stories of the last 12 months.  Stories at links below.


Green Year in Review


Due to technological advancements, medical devices no longer have to be uniformly disposed of; instead, many can be reprocessed to serve new purposes, reducing environmental waste and high equipment costs.


Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit membership and networking organization for sustainable healthcare, has announced a new tool designed to help hospital and health system professionals build support for sustainability by creating buy-in among key leaders.


Washington State’s Grays Harbor Community Hospital is yet another example of an organization committed to reducing its carbon footprint by utilizing new technologies in order to make large-scale recycling more accessible.


Adopting approaches that are supported by the health care member association Practice Greenhealth, the medical center realized savings of $1.2 million through single-use device reprocessing and OR kit reformulation in 2014.


CleanMed connects leaders at the forefront of implementing sustainability projects, green building design and environmentally preferable purchasing.


Here are 10 ways you can save big by reprocessing, reorganizing, reducing and recycling.


Adopting approaches that are supported by the health care member association Practice Greenhealth, the University of Maryland Medical Center realized savings of $1.2 million through single-use device reprocessing and OR kit reformulation in 2014.


Reprocessing is a key component in environmental sustainability programs and is a proven means of not only decreasing the quantity of waste going into incinerators and landfills, but in decreasing the cost of providing safe, effective devices.


Practice Greenhealth reports that diverting 92,205 tons of waste from landfills through recycling saved nearly $4 million in one year, with single-use device reprocessing accounting for 873 tons prevented from becoming medical waste.


The amount of waste that happens in a hospital setting can be staggering. Recycling items that can be recycled is smart – as is conducting studies to identify which new items could make the cut.


Hospitals nationwide are transforming their surgical suites through environmental innovation, with practices includes waste minimization, recycling, and environmentally preferable purchasing.


Hospitals in the U.S. generate some 7,000 tons of waste per day, or more than 2.3 million tons a year.  By making smarter purchasing decisions upstream and recycling, reusing, and composting waste, hospitals can save money while diverting loads of waste from landfills and incinerators.


Every year, to simply operate, hospitals must burn through gigatons of fossil fuel energy.  Leading the fight against climate change is the smart thing — and the right thing — to do for a sector of society sworn to do no harm.


From 2012 through 2014, Broward Health has been able to divert 6,322,690 pounds of waste from landfills and saved $3,366,113 within its top three green Initiatives: reprocessing of single-use devices (SUDs), operating room (OR) waste reduction, and integrated waste-stream solution (IWSS) programs.


Virginia Mason Medical Center is a prime example of a healthcare center which has saved millions of dollars through smarter purchasing decisions. This Seattle-based hospital saved $3 million in supply costs over three years after instituting a reprocessing program for single-use devices.


Practice Greenhealth launched the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in 2012 to raise the bar in healthcare sustainability, challenging the entire healthcare sector to accelerate its progress as a whole.


Since nurses are responsible for much of patient care, they’re uniquely positioned to promote sustainability concerns in the health care industry and to help the organizations they work for make the changes demanded by dwindling resources.


After achieving success in getting more hospitals involved in reducing their carbon footprint, the Healthy Hospitals Initiative will remain a Practice Greenhealth program.


This year, Practice Greenhealth is pleased to recognize Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (D-H) for its outstanding efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the surgical environment.


One of the goals of the Smarter Purchasing Challenge is to increase the purchases of reprocessed SUDs by at least 50 percent over baseline. While the collection of FDA-approved SUDs for reprocessing reduces waste tonnage and disposal costs, it is equally important for hospitals to purchase back the reprocessed devices to maintain the demand, closing the loop.