Preventing Unsustainable Sustainability

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Preventing Unsustainable Sustainability

August 25th, 2015




Preventing Unsustainable Sustainability

Source: Healthcare Purchasing News

What are some common mistakes made, along with some suggestions on making good?  Sustainability experts share their thoughts.

The most common mistake that supply chain leaders make when implementing a [single-use device] reprocessing program is focusing on purchase price instead of the volume of reprocessed product as the key factor in delivering savings. This includes contract bundling agreements where the original device manufacturer designs the agreement to limit a hospital’s ability to reprocess. Some SUD reprocessing contracts bundle reprocessed devices with original devices or capital equipment. These contracts might require the purchase of one new device for every two reprocessed, and if a minimum purchase volume is met, the health system may receive a discount on the new devices. These terms and conditions might look attractive on paper, but these contracts can fall short of meeting expectations. Maximum savings are achieved by minimizing the number of new devices purchased. To avoid contracting pitfalls, select a vendor that doesn’t tie reprocessing savings to minimum purchase requirements for new devices.

Another common mistake is believing program education is only necessary at the program’s inception. Long-term success of reprocessing is dependent upon constant education, measurement and promotion of results.

– Bill Scott, Senior Director of Marketing, Stryker Sustainability Solutions

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Reprocessing’s Role in the Responsible Supply Chain

August 24th, 2015










Pursuing the ‘Responsible’ Supply Chain

Source: Healthcare Purchasing News

Author: Rick Dana Barlow


Healthcare organizations increasingly have grown to recognize the financial, operational and social features, costs and benefits of sustainability as a business strategy as well as a patient service. It’s a “green” issue that can lead to “in-the-black” outcomes.

[One such] trend is expansion of reprocessed devices, instruments and supplies — these resources are heavily regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, divert waste from landfills, and typically help organizations to lower their supply costs which, in turn, may help control the cost of health care. 

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MedGadget Press Release: Reprocessed Medical Devices Market Posts 19.3% CAGR

August 21st, 2015




Reprocessed Medical Devices Market to Post 19.3% CAGR Underpinned by Healthcare Industry’s Focus on Cost Savings

MedGadget reports that medical device reprocessing is fast being streamlined into an organized industry that creates millions of dollars by way of revenues.

Reprocessing “not only helps to make optimum use of the medical devices, but also make[s] them accessible to healthcare institutions and patients who cannot afford new medical devices. The global reprocessed medical devices market approximated US$0.78 billion in 2013 and will expand to touch US$2.58 billion by 2020, translating into an appreciable CAGR of 19.3%.”


  • Cost Savings Entice Uptake of Reprocessed Medical Devices
  • Highest Demand to be Seen for Reprocessed Cardiovascular Medical Devices
  • North America is Top Region in Global Reprocessed Medical Devices Market

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Practice Greenhealth Releases 2015 Sustainability Benchmark Report

August 20th, 2015


Today, Practice Greenhealth released their 2015 Sustainability Benchmark Report, which details recent dramatic environmental improvements in the health care industry and over $76 million in annual savings at 220 hospitals. The report provides insight on how industry leaders are successfully reducing their environmental footprint, achieving financial savings, and changing the culture of their organizations as they address environmental issues and opportunities in areas as diverse as energy, waste management, safer chemicals, water reduction, healthy food, green buildings, and climate impact.

The Sustainability Benchmark Report includes data and analyses on hospital practices in many areas including:

  • Waste volumes and costs
  • Waste reduction practices and programs
  • Chemical use and green cleaning
  • Environmental purchasing, including reusables
  • Sustainable food
  • Facilities and construction, including planned construction projects
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water use
  • Financial benefits
  • Green team development
  • Publicity and advertising

The Report provides a unique glimpse into hospitals’ priorities, including trends and emerging areas of focus, helping to identify opportunities for improvement in an effort to establish sustainable practices over the coming years.
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OR Initiative Saves Spectrum Health Hospital System $692K

August 20th, 2015


OR Initiative Saves Hospital System $692K

Spectrum Health, a Michigan-based nonprofit healthcare system, saved $692,000 through Green the OR, a Practice Greenhealth initiative that focuses on reducing cost, waste and exposure to hazardous chemicals in the operating room.

Around 30 percent of the hospital’s waste comes from its operating room, so reuse and recycling in the OR is a big part of its sustainability program. By diverting 12,145 pounds of single-use devices from the waste stream, the healthcare organization saved $669,000.

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Reprocessing Programs Integral to Green Healthcare

August 13th, 2015

5 Best Practices to Green Healthcare

Author: Deborah Fleischer

Source: GreenBiz


U.S. hospitals contribute 8 percent of our total carbon footprint, creating 2 million tons of waste annually.

“Sustainability is preventative medicine on a grand scale,” said Kathy Gerwig, vice president of employee safety, health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente.

A key message: Sustainability is not only good for the planet and the pocketbook, but it also supports total health.

Gerwig recommends reprocessing programs as one of the five best practices for achieving sustainability:

Start a reprocessing program
Here is a fact that should make hospital administrators pay attention: According to Gerwig, over the past 10 years, Kaiser Permanente has saved over $55 million from its reprocessing program alone. For fiscal year 2014-2015, through partnerships with Hygia, Masimo and Stryker, single-use devices collected in the surgery department, electrophysiology lab and patient rooms for reprocessing saved UCSF over $1 million. It makes me wonder why every hospital and medical center has not jumped on this best practice. Gerwig stressed, “Greening is not more expensive for us — it is a myth that it costs more.”

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New Study Compares Reported Failure Rates Between Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Single-use Energy Devices and Reprocessed (RP) Devices

August 6th, 2015






Technical Brief: A Comparison of the Failure Rate between Original Equipment Manufacturer and Reprocessed Single-use Energy Devices

Author: Terrence J. Loftus MD, MBA, FACS

Source: ASME Journal of Medical Devices

Background: Reprocessing has emerged as an attempt to control the cost of single use energy devices despite limited data on failure rates. This study compares the surgical team reported failure rates between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) single-use energy devices to reprocessed (RP) devices. Method of Approach: Data was retrospectively collected over a seven month period for two types of energy devices. Rates were calculated based on the reported device failures and the number of devices purchased. Results: A total of 3112 devices were purchased in the reporting period. There is a significant difference (p < 0.001) in reported energy device failures between OEM and RP, with a higher percentage of failures (2.0% vs. 0.41%) reported by the surgical team with the OEM devices. OEM devices failed 4.9 times more frequently than RP devices. Conclusion: OEM single-use energy devices fail more frequently than RP devices based on device failure reports from the surgical team.

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Greening the OR Symposium

July 31st, 2015

greening the OR image

The Greening the OR Symposium celebrates progress and milestones made on the journey to promoting environmentally friendly practices in the operating room and invites new thinking in innovative ideas to overcome our challenges, and strategies that will result in new areas to address to drive further progress.

Now in its fourth year, Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR Symposium offers the opportunity for high-level heath care professionals to learn about the environmental impact of the OR, as well as:

  • Increase staff and patient safety
  • Reduce costs and the triple bottom line
  • Show senior leadership why this is an organizational imperative
  • Highlight the value of vendor partnerships in driving successful sustainability programs

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Sign the Practice Greenhealth EPP Pledge

July 29th, 2015

Demonstrate Your Environmental Commitment

green commitment image
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership organization for companies in health care that have made a commitment to sustainable, environmentally preferable practices. Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative provides a common set of tools for purchasers, suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that environmentally preferable products are available, cost competitive, of comparable quality, and generate a sector wide market shift in the direction of sound Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) practices. A critical element of the initiative is the release of the Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products (Version 1.0), which guides the identification, selection and procurement of environmentally preferable medical products.
Solidify your support for Greening the Supply Chain Initiative by signing the EPP Pledge. Your organization can show your commitment to support the Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) in contracting for environmentally preferable products, and your interest in purchasing products based on, the environmentally preferable attributes.

MHRA Wants Input on Single-Use Device Re-Manufacture Guidance

July 22nd, 2015

MHRA article image

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a survey to gather input on its new draft guidance on the re-manufacturing of single-use devices…

Reprocessing vs Re-manufacturing

Presently, reprocessing single-use devices is not regulated at the EU level. Some individual countries, such as Germany, allow single-use devices to be reprocessed using the same standards that apply to reusable devices. Others countries, such as France, do not allow the practice, and many “do not have any specific regulations” on the subject.

The UK currently does not allow reprocessing of single-use devices; however, MHRA says that it has been approached by multiple manufacturers who “re-manufacture” and CE mark used single-use devices.

For the past two years, MHRA says it has been investigating re-manufacturers and “assessing their technical, regulatory and clinical processes.” Following its review, MHRA said it sees a distinction between re-manufactured and reprocessed single-use devices.

In its draft guidance, MHRA says re-manufactured single-use devices must conform to the relevant medical device directive(s), acquire a CE mark, and satisfy the requirements of a notified body assessing the product.

MHRA also says that Class I devices should not be re-manufactured as “there would be no external or independent assessment of CE-mark compliance.” When a device is re-manufactured multiple times, it should always be done by the same company. Remanufacturers must also validate the number of times a device can be re-manufactured before it must be disposed of.

Additionally, re-manufactured devices should retain all markings by the original manufacturer, as well as new markings by the re-manufacturer, including company name, address and serial number, and the “packaging and instructions for use must clearly state that this product has been re-manufactured from the original.

“The guidance also clarifies that the original manufacturer is not responsible for remanufactured products, and the re-manufacturer is responsible for post-market surveillance of any re-manufactured single-use device.

New EU Medical Device Legislation

MHRA also acknowledges that its guidance may need to be updated to reflect changes at the EU level related to single-use devices if new medical device legislation is adopted…

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