April 25th, 2013
Hundreds of hospitals saved a collective $32 million in 2012 by reprocessing single-use medical devices, a practice that was highlighted by the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in its first milestone report detailing the program’s results over the past year. The Healthier Hospitals Initiative is now composed of about 700 hospitals and three not-for-profit organizations—Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and the Center for Health Design. It was formed in 2010 to improve providers’ sustainable purchasing practices and boost the hospital sector’s environmental health. Areas of focus include developing healthier food practices at healthcare facilities, reducing energy use and waste, and reprocessing single-use medical devices.
The initiative aims to enroll 1,500 hospitals by this time next year, as environmental concerns increasingly are identified as a strategic risk for healthcare providers, said Gary Cohen, president of Health Care Without Harm and founder of HHI.
The report also found that the 370 hospitals it surveyed recycled 50 million pounds of waste, spent millions of dollars on PVC/DEHP-free products, and saved $32 million as a result of reprocessing, a practice that has become more common for hospitals during the past decade.
Full story here
April 25th, 2013
Health Care Without Harm Europe and The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare are pleased to invite you to its 2013 conference in Oxford, UK where you can share problems and solutions with 450 others working on the interface between health and the environment. CleanMed is a great place for sustainability leaders and healthcare innovators to find new ways to inspire their organisations, learn practical ways to make changes and contribute to international understanding of sustainable healthcare.
- redesign models of care for a sustainable future
- measure the Triple Bottom Line
- learn how to scale up best practice
- include solutions in the new Sustainability Infographic
- present research and case studies
Hosted in Oxford, UK on the 17th-19th of September 2013. Register at www.cleanmedeurope.org; Early Bird rates available until 31st May
April 24th, 2013
AMDR President Dan Vukelich is attending CleanMed in Boston this week (http://www.cleanmed.org/). It is the premier conference on environmental sustainability for the health care sector. The conference attracts leaders and key decision makers from across the industry, convening health care professionals, university researchers, designers of professional buildings, and vendors of cleaner and safer products and services. Today he will be sitting in on Stacy Prigmore of Sterilmed’s session on “Reprocessing and Supply Chain Management. Please watch AMDR’s Twitter Account throughout the conference for updates.
April 24-26, 2013
Boston Marriott Copley Place
110 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02116 USA
April 24th, 2013
Brian White, President of Stryker Sustainability Solutions discusses in an April Issue of Surgical Products how hospitals and healthcare systems can maximize results through reprocessing programs:
Over the past two decades, reprocessing has transitioned from an emerging trend in healthcare to a widely regarded, increasingly standard practice in hospitals across the nation. In the future, the prevalence of reprocessing programs will continue to grow. More hospitals will implement—and refine—programs of their own to reduce costs and reallocate funds to support quality of care initiatives. Many of the best hospitals in the country reprocess, including the majority of the U.S. News & WorldReport “Honor Roll Hospitals,” and have realized significant savings as a result.
Reprocessing has gained popularity as a preeminent sustainability initiative for numerous reasons. First and foremost, there is a high level of confidence in the safety and efficacy of reprocessed single-use devices (SUDs). They undergo a rigorous process of testing and inspection to ensure substantially equivalent performance to the original device, while adhering to FDA regulated manufacturing process controls. Second, a reprocessing program can provide significant cost-savings that enable healthcare institutions to stretch limited financial resources. Supply cost savings from reprocessing allows hospital administrators to redirect funds toward initiatives that could improve patient care, such as hiring healthcare providers or purchasing new technologies that improve clinical outcomes.
April 23rd, 2013
Reprocessing of popular vein treatment catheter results in significant cost savings and medical waste reduction for vein practices. Since the service was launched in January of 2012, more than 400 clinics have contracted to have their ClosureFAST catheters reprocessed, and Vascular Solutions, Inc. announced that more than 20,000 ClosureFAST vein ablation catheters have been reprocessed by its reprocessing partner, Northeast Scientific, Inc.
“Our reprocessing service for the ClosureFAST catheter is an increasingly attractive option for U.S. vein clinics that want to significantly reduce their costs and cut down on medical waste,” said Howard Root, Chief Executive Officer of Vascular Solutions. “By successfully reprocessing more than 20,000 ClosureFAST catheters, our reprocessing partner NES has clearly demonstrated the utility and reliability of this service.”
“Reprocessing is one of the fastest-growing segments of the medical device industry, and the vast majority of U.S. hospitals are now contracting with third-party reprocessors for a number of single-use medical devices because of the proven results,” Mr. Root said. “We are very pleased with the continued success of our reprocessing service for the widely-used ClosureFAST catheter.”
April 23rd, 2013
Brian White, President of Stryker Sustainability Solutions discusses how hospitals experience significant cost-savings and waste-reduction benefits as a result of a well-integrated, well-supported reprocessing programs. Sustainability efforts he writes, are particularly optimized through clinical staff like nurses. Caryn Humphrey, product manager at Stryker Sustainability Solutions notes:
“Nurses have the opportunity to take ownership of a hospital’s sustainability initiatives by becoming early adopters and promoters of the program. Many surgeons rely on nurses and trust their judgment. If a nurse requests that the surgeon substitute a reprocessed surgical instrument for a brand new one, the surgeon may listen – and the costs of the procedure could be reduced. Nurses can also launch hospital Green Teams, or join existing ones. Green Teams are known to be highly effective vehicles for influencing greener behavior throughout hospitals.” In Caryn’s opinion, most successful reprocessing programs are driven by people who understand that reprocessing is an essential part of how a facility should operate in an environment where resources are scarce. By entering into and refining a reprocessing program, hospitals can achieve significant supply cost savings, which allows them to reinvest these resources in initiatives that enhance patient care.
April 19th, 2013
In the healthcare industry, Practice Greenhealth found that American hospitals produce 5.9 million tons of waste each year. In an effort to be more green, a 2012 Commonwealth Fund study estimates if energy-saving practices were implemented nationwide, the healthcare sector would see about $1 billion in net savings after five years. Operating rooms specifically were found to use disposable instead of reusable products, use blue wrap without recycling it, and throw out pre-packaged tool sets.
In recent years some hospitals have begun reprocessing non-critical single-use devices, like pulse oximetry finger probes, to save the hospital money. Reprocessing involves the medical organization contracting with a reprocessor who picks up the non-critical devices, examines them and determines which ones can be sterilized and re-used. The ones that can be re-used are then sold back to the hospital at lower cost than what the hospital would pay for a brand-new device, Kaplan (research assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a researcher in the study) said. ”There are two areas of cost savings in that activity, one is that you are paying less for the items you are purchasing and the other is you are reducing your waste and the costs associated with waste disposal for those items.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that medical devices that are being reprocessed and re-used must meet the same requirements and standards as the original manufacturer’s product, according to the FDA website. This means that reprocessing firms must be registered and list all their products as well as “submitting adverse event reports, tracking devices whose failure could have serious outcomes, correcting or removing from the market unsafe devices, meeting manufacturing and labeling requirements,” the website states.
Environmental responsibility can improve fiscal sustainability of the healthcare industry, “We’re very concerned with improving health in this country and this is something sustainability can do and we’re also interested in saving money, especially as health costs continue to rise,” Kaplan said. “This area of study puts both of those priorities together.”
Full article here
April 19th, 2013
Gary Cohen, Co-Founder and President of Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, and on the board of the American Sustainable Business Council and Health Leads, published an article in Forbes as part of a special series for World Health Day. The article describes that particularly after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, it’s been brought to the world’s attention that the healthcare sector’s ability to respond to climate change “is still in a primitive stage of development.”
“Climate change will bring us many more heat waves, hurricanes and droughts in the years to come. We need to engage the health care sector in climate change mitigation so they can help communities be prepared to weather these crises and help lead us to a healthier and more sustainable future. Who else is going to play this role?”
Full Story here
April 18th, 2013
In an article from Beckers Hospital Review Huron Consulting Group issued a briefing entitled, “Ten Overlooked Opportunities for Significant Performance Improvement and Cost Savings.” The briefing lists Reprocessing of single-use devices among the ways hospitals and health systems can save their organizations millions of dollars in cost savings. Jim Gallas, managing director and Performance solutions leader at Huron Healthcare described:
“As market pressures on hospitals and health systems continue to grow, a comprehensive yet granular approach to reducing expenses in every possible area creates a tremendous opportunity to make healthcare delivery more efficient, as well as fund the changes that reform is bringing.”
Of the 10 areas areas for performance and cost improvement at hospitals and health systems, Hurnon experts identified Reprocessing of single-use devices:
#9. Reprocessing of single-use devices. Improving single-use clinical device costs by 15 to 40 percent could save $175,000 to $315,000 (based on a 350-bed hospital with $365 million in net patient revenue.)
April 17th, 2013
CleanMed, is the premier conference on environmental sustainability for the health care sector which attracts leaders and key decision makers from across the industry. Next week, April 24-26th 2013 is their conference highlighting the health care sector’s commitment to environmental sustainability and regenerative health to improve the health of people and the environment. In light of the Boston Marathon tragedy, CleanMed released a statement in regards to their programming:
The tragic events in Boston yesterday leave us disheartened and our thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected by such senseless violence. With CleanMed rapidly approaching next week, we wanted to let attendees know that all conference activities are still scheduled and we look forward to highlighting the many accomplishments in environmental sustainability across the sector.
We have been in close contact with our onsite team at the Boston Marriott Copley Place and are providing the following information from the hotel on what our guests can expect next week.