Practice Greenhealth & Sustainable Procurement







Source: Sustainable City Network

Practice Greenhealth is a nonprofit and member of the SPLC.  It provides resources and tools to guide its 1,300 members in the U.S. and Canada on standards for environmentally preferable purchasing.

“Sustainable health care that’s good for the environment, good for patients and staff, and good for the bottom line means action plans to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle solid waste, reduce regulated and chemical waste, reduce energy and water consumption, create healing environments, and establish green purchasing policies,” its website states.

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AMDR Comments from the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Circular Economy






Comments from the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors
European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Circular Economy
August 20, 2015

The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) applauds the Commission’s Circular Economy initiative and urges consideration of the effects of healthcare waste. The reprocessing of a select number of medical devices labeled by the original manufacturer as for “single‐use” safety extends the life and value of expensive medical instrumentation, reduces demands on natural resources, eliminates medical waste and repurposes valuable materials such as gold, platinum, steel and plastics. The nascent commercial medical device reprocessing industry, if properly promoted, has the potential to save EU hospitals hundreds of millions of Euros a year, reduce hazardous medical waste, increase recycling, and drive job growth in the reprocessing industry… 

Full Comments Available Here via PDF:

AMDR Comments to EC Consultation on Circular Economy 20 August 2015

EU Council Adopts Position on Revised Medical Devices Package






Single-Use Devices and Reprocessing of Devices

According to the draft regulation on medical devices as amended by the [Council of the European Union], reprocessing and further use of single-use devices may take place only when permitted by member states. The commission is also required to establish and regularly update a list of categories or groups of single-use devices which cannot be reprocessed safely and may therefore not be reprocessed.

The council’s view concerning the reprocessing of medical devices differs from that of Parliament. Parliament proposed that medical devices be considered suitable for reprocessing and as reusable devices by default, unless they are placed on a list of single-use devices which are unsuitable for reprocessing.

As with Parliament’s proposal, the council also considered that any natural or legal person wishing to reprocess a single-use device in order to make it suitable for further use must be considered as the manufacturer of the reprocessed device and be held liable for the reprocessing. However, the council introduced an exception to this principle for single-use devices which are reprocessed and used in a health institution.

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Green Purchasing is Smart Purchasing




Green Purchasing is Smart Purchasing

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.

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Virginia Mason’s Reprocessing Initiative

Virginia Mason Medical Center is a participant in Practice Greenhealth’s Healthier Hospitals program.

Stryker Sustainability approached Virginia Mason with the idea of utilizing reprocessed medical devices. Reprocessed medical devices are FDA-cleared (and pre-audited for quality), demonstrate the same high level of quality, [and] have a lower total cost and a reduced environmental impact than many single-use devices.  Physicians joined the leadership team to evaluate the devices, including visiting the reprocessing plant and consulting with other surgeons. The group decided to start with a few devices and expanded as time went on. After learning how each device is inspected for quality and held to the highest standard, the team moved forward.

As a result, Virginia Mason [has] reduced purchasing costs by more than $3 million since 2012, reduc[ing] annual waste disposal costs as well as toxins released into the environment.

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Reprocessing Initiative at Broward Health Promotes Environmental Stewardship and Cost Savings




Greening the Cleaning Process

Source: Healthcare Purchasing News

HPN’s Susan Cantrell discusses Broward Health’s achievements in healthcare sustainability.

An award-winning example of a healthcare facility with sustainability as its mission is Broward Health, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

At Broward Health, it was recognized that good environmental stewardship does not end with them. They saw the need to extend their environmentally preferred and sustainable procurement practices to their vendors and business partners. “Broward Health requires vendors responding to all formal bids to provide information on their company’s green policy and, when feasible, will support these companies’ products and services, as long as existing sourcing practices and patient care is not compromised,” explained [Brian] Bravo [CMRP, Corporate Procurement Officer and Director of Materials Management].

Their efforts have been rewarded… “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.”

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Preventing Unsustainable Sustainability




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










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




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


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


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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