Obama Enlists Hospitals & Medical Professionals to Fight Health Hazards of Climate Change

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Obama Enlists Hospitals & Medical Professionals to Fight Health Hazards of Climate Change

April 10th, 2015

Obama enlists hospitals, medical professionals to fight health hazards of climate change – FierceHealthcare

The White House says it will look to the medical community to make the case that climate change poses significant health risks and to help reduce these potential harms.

“Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries” that will especially affect children, the elderly, the poor and the sick, according to an announcement. “Ultimately, though, all of our families are going to be vulnerable. You can’t cordon yourself off from air or from climate,” President Barack Obama said to a group at Howard University on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

To help healthcare leaders join the effort, the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release a “Health Care Facilities Toolkit,” which offers fact sheets, checklists and case studies that illustrate best practices for creating a healthcare infrastructure that is resilient to the threat of climate change.

Read More.

Maryland Hospitals at the Intersection of Environmental Health, Sustainability, and Community Benefit

April 7th, 2015

The Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment Report highlights Anne Arundel Medical Center’s reprocessing efforts to help reduce waste (p. 6)  “…. [they have] implemented a reusable sharps container program and single use devices reprocessing program…”

Read More.

maryland hospitals image

Protect your Reprocessing Savings with Stryker!

April 7th, 2015

stryker imageCheck out how Stryker Sustainability Solutions is helping hospitals increase their supply chain cost savings! “Protect your Reprocessing Savings” on p.40

Read about it here.

Reaping the Benefits: Reprocessing Medical Devices, from the Advisory Board Company

April 1st, 2015

Health Care Sustainability Initiative

What is Medical Device Reprocessing?

Medical device reprocessing involves diverting used devices from recycling for use by that institution or by another. While this is mostly a technique used for minimally invasive disposables, some have started reprocessing surgical devices as well. Reprocessing can save on landfill costs and, for hospitals reusing devices, repurchasing costs.

Currently, around 3,000 hospitals have reprocessing programs.

Unnecessary Waste

30% Percentage of hospital waste originating from the operating room

Avoidable Costs

$2B Potential annual savings to the US health care system from reprocessing and repurchasing 2% of all medical devices

50% Potential cost savings from purchasing reprocessed medical devices instead of new devices

$213K Annual savings by one health system from purchasing reprocessed medical devices

Read more.

 Cash in On Environmental Sustainability


AdvaMed Rearranges FDA’s Priority List

March 25th, 2015

The medical device trade group tells FDA which guidance topics should be tackled first.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has voiced its opinion on which topics the medtech industry believes should be FDA’s highest priorities.

In early January, FDA’s Centers for Device and Radiological Health (CDRH) released its Fiscal Year 2015 Proposed Guidance Development. This set out a prioritized list of topics for which CDRH may issue draft and final guidance documents in FY15. The topics are broken down into two lists–the A-list and the B-list. CDRH intends to publish guidance on A-list topics in FY15, while guidance on B-list topics will be published “as…resources permit.” The window for comments on the proposal closed earlier this month.

In a comment posted last week, AdvaMed sounded off on the CDRH list, giving the agency its own take on which topics are most important. This meant the trade group would like to see some of the A-list topics reshuffled according to priority, some B-list topics moved to the A-list grouping and vice versa, as well as a few new topics added…

The trade group also wants to see several guidance documents updated, including guidance on “Cybersecurity for Networked Medical Devices Containing Off-the-Shelf (OTS) Software” and “Pilot Program to Evaluate a Proposed Globablly Harmonized Alternative for Premarket Procedures.”

FDA has already made progress on its list since the comment period closed earlier this month. On March 12, FDA released its finalized guidance on medical device reprocessing in the health care setting.

The agency does not get to all of the A-list topics each year. Some topics such as “Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Optimize Medical Device Design” have been carried over from the FY14 priority list and made AdvaMed’s FY14 high priority list as well.

Read More.



Sustainability in the Operating Room

March 18th, 2015

… Sustainability in the OR is a multipronged initiative that can include, but is not limited to, recycling and reprocessing equipment; reducing prescription drug waste; properly disposing of medical waste; and choosing and managing anesthetics to reduce the overall amount of inhalants used and dispersed into the atmosphere.

“Sustainability in the OR involves changing habits in a culture that needs to be so exacting,” says Susan Ryan, M.D., clinical professor of anesthesiology at UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco. Surgeons, anesthesiologists and perioperative nurses are cautious, Abenstein acknowledges. “There is a fear of the unknown, of anything that can put the patient at risk.”

Lauren Berkow, M.D., associate chief of the division of neuroanesthesia at Johns Hopkins Health System, Baltimore, says educating physicians on the financial and environmental impacts of OR sustainability will go a long way toward achieving buy-in.

Her organization saved more than $5 million on an OR reprocessing program between 2010 and 2013. “It’s important to show results to build on your success,” Berkow adds…

Key Steps in Greening the OR

…Dedicate a Green Team focused on sustainability in the operating room. Create a multidisciplinary team to oversee sustainability initiatives in the OR. Participants may include representatives from nursing, materials management, anesthesiology, environmental services and surgery, among others.

Educate OR staff on the benefits of sustainability.
Spell out to operating room staff the importance of sustainability. Getting buy-in up front will help to ensure the program’s success.

Tackle waste. Conduct a waste audit to help identify ways to streamline medical waste disposal. Preventing items from unnecessarily being placed in the regulated medical waste stream, which is more costly to dispose, can result in significant savings.

Purchase reprocessed medical devices. Partner with an approved third-party processor to purchase reprocessed medical devices, and reprocess eligible devices….

Read More.

Three Ways to Sell your Hospital on Sustainability

March 13th, 2015

Despite popular perceptions that sustainability measures will financially drain hospitals and health systems, they can drive savings when organizations take certain steps,according to a new report from the University of Pennsylvania.

There are numerous ways that hospitals can make operations greener, such as conserving water and sourcing food locally, but part of what holds back many providers from implementing sustainability initiatives is their focus on the short-term bottom line.

Read More.

The 2014 Practice Greenhealth Sustainability Benchmark Report

March 3rd, 2015

Check out the just released 2014 Practice GreenHealth Sustainability Benchmark Report (members only). The report again highlights that award-winning hospitals adopt SUD reprocessing as a means to cut regulated medical waste. In fact, according to the report, “eighty-eight percent of facilities have implemented reprocessing programs, saving a total of $49.2 million and diverting 847 tons of waste out of the regulated medical waste stream.”

This is the only report that shows comprehensive data illustrating the progress of sustainability across the health care sector in such detail. In addition to reporting out on metrics, the report shares sustainability trends and emerging areas of focus, such as the Greening the OR® Initiative.

Read more on p. 34, 36-37, 50-51 of the Report.

2014 Practice GreenHealth Sustainability Report Image

Keep Vendors and Their Surprises Out of Your ORs and Your Contracts

February 27th, 2015

… The Story:

You’re doing all you can to reduce your expenses, but then a vendor shows up in the operating room with a “surprise” implant. Or an expensive piece of technology breaks down, and you have to call in the vendor to repair it. Ambulatory surgery programs are getting creative in how to address these problems, which can blow up your budget before your year has barely begun…

This month’s issue is one of the most anticipated by our readers because it’s full of cost-saving ideas. We tell you how to keep vendors and their “surprise” devices out of the ORs. We share how to control your equipment expenses. We tell you how one facility cut about $10,000 worth of inventory at its bedsides. Columnist Steve Earnhart has 10 money-related ideas. We tell you how to save money by reprocessing single-use devices. We also share how to improve collections by moving financial counseling to the front end…

Read More.

Reprocessed Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 2.58 Billion Globally in 2020 : Transparency Market Research

February 19th, 2015

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, “Reprocessed Medical Devices Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020,” the global reprocessed medical devices market was valued at USD 0.78 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.3% from 2014 to 2020, to reach USD 2.58 billion in 2020.

Medical device reprocessing refers to the practice of inspecting, cleaning, testing, sterilizing and packaging of used and expired medical devices, such that the devices are usable and safe for their appropriate clinical application. Reprocessing of medical devices has been observed for over two decades; however, several events have changed both practitioner and regulatory views of the occasionally-maligned medical devices. Generally, there are three types of medical device reprocessing methods: third party reprocessing, non-compliant reprocessors (by health clinics) and in-house reprocessing (by laboratories and hospitals). All the reprocessed medical devices are subject to the regulatory requirements and must meet strict functionality, cleaning sterility and safety standards prior to commercialization…
Read More.