Award-Winning Environmental Purchasing Program Strategies

…Whether you’re just getting started or well on your way, the right tools can help further transform your supply chain process. This checklist provides an overview of some key environmental purchasing strategies suggested by Practice Greenhealth for award-winning hospitals.

Choosing a more environmentally preferred product or service is just one small decision—but when these small decisions happen across your hospital, it makes a measurable difference in the health and safety of your staff, patients and community. From reducing waste to recycling and saving energy, facilities can easily quantify their overall success by asking vendors for spend or tonnage reports. Many hospitals are also finding that, by including environmental attributes as part of their evaluations of products and services, they are seeing significant savings in a product’s total cost over its lifetime…

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And the Award Goes to …

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is this year’s Greening the OR Award winner.

The OR is a large contributor to a health care facility’s environmental footprint, but health systems nationwide are transforming their surgical suites through environmental innovation. 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….

…D-H also has success with its single-use device (SUD) reprocessing program. In 2014, D-H saw significant growth in collection compliance of multiple noninvasive devices (pulse oximeters, ECG leads, DVT sleeves, blood pressure cuffs) along with an improvement in buy-back compliance of external-fixation devices. The team diverted more than nine tons of SUDs from the OR, Cath/EP labs and patient care areas for a savings of $8,758 in avoided waste disposal costs and $211,726 in the purchase of reprocessed devices…

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Healthier Hospitals Initiative’s 2014 Milestone Report Caps Three Years of Sustainability Achievement Among Hospitals Nationwide

From p. 23 of the Report:

SUD Reprocessing

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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.

Since 2010, 379 hospitals saved more than $174 million by purchasing reprocessed single-use devices. Hospitals generally buy back the reprocessed SUDs at 1/2 the original purchase price. Three hundred seventy-nine different hospitals reported data on SUD purchases since 2010. Of the 119 hospitals reporting data in 2014 that have a continuous purchasing series (2010-2014, 2011-2014, 2012-2014 or 2013-2014):  

• Fifty (42 percent) increased purchases compared to the first year in the reporting series.

• Thirty-one (26 percent) reported increasing purchasing of reprocessed devices by more than 50 percent in 2014 relative to the first year in the reporting series.

HHI has been able to quantify $174.4 million in reprocessed SUD expenditure since 2010. While it is fantastic that hospitals are spending such a large sum of money on reprocessed devices, there are numerous roadblocks to implementing an SUD purchasing program, ranging from physician buy-in to leadership support. Practice Greenhealth will continue to work with hospitals, tackling barriers around contracting limits, clinical engagement, and ongoing training and auditing needs.


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To download a copy of the full report, visit

Reprocessed Medical Devices Market to Grow at 19.3% CAGR due to Minimization of Medical Waste: Transparency Market Research

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Growing at a healthy CAGR of 19.3% between 2014 and 2020, the global reprocessed medical devices market is anticipated to reach a market value worth US$2.58 billion by 2020 from US$0.78 billion in 2013.

Greater focus on reducing hospital costs, medical waste minimization, and high cost of savings from reprocessed devices, fuel the global reprocessed medical devices market. This market is segmented on the basis of device and geography. Of these, the segment for cardiovascular medical devices is anticipated to grow robustly during the forecast period. This segment is fuelled by greater focus on decreasing healthcare expenditure and low prices of the products. Absence of suitable regulatory guidelines, negative perceptions about product quality, and the unwillingness to adopt reprocessed medical devices will inhibit the growth of the reprocessed medical devices market in the years to come.

Geographically, the global reprocessed medical devices market is segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Rest of the World. Strong regulatory policies and widespread adoption rate make North America a market leader. The Europe reprocessed medical devices market is anticipated to expand at a favorable rate of growth in the forecasting horizon owing to high demand and greater awareness about the savings via healthcare cost cuts. High pressure on maintaining healthcare budgets will fuel the reprocessed medical devices market in the forthcoming years. Medline ReNewal, ReNu Medical, and Stryker Sustainability Solutions Inc., are the key companies in this market.

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Healthy Hospitals Initiative Wraps Up, But Strategies Live On

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


The environmentally focused Healthy Hospitals Initiative finished with a bang, receiving data from 970 hospitals in its third and final year, a 52 percent increase from the previous year, and close to triple its first year participation.

“It shows a large segment of the health care sector can adopt sustainability measures and together we can have a huge impact on transforming practices,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the supporting organization, Practice Greenhealth.

Some of the highlights of the initiative found in its 2014 Milestone Report concern areas that might not be obvious targets for sustainability, such as purchasing compound-free furnishings, an segment in which 21 of the reporting hospitals spent $12 million. That represented 58.7 percent of their total $21.3 million furnishing budget.

Successes also were reported in more well-known areas of sustainability. Participating hospitals reported they eliminated 73,600 metric tons of greenhouse gases through energy reduction, which is the same as taking 15,600 cars off the road annually. Since 2010, 457 hospitals diverted 446 thousand tons of materials from landfills, achieving a recycling rate of 24 percent.

…The participating hospitals were asked to take on efforts in one or more of six challenge areas: Engaged Leadership, Healthier Food, Leaner Energy, Less Waste, Safer Chemicals and Smarter Purchasing.

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Seven High Points from the IAMERS Annual Meeting

IAMERS imageLast week, I attended the annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers (IAMERS) in Washington, DC.

It was a great meeting and I was alert throughout the entire event. Sometimes, when you attend these meetings just for the sake of networking, you want to fall asleep during the lectures — but not so this time…

5. Daniel Vukelich, the executive director of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors, talked about the evolution of reprocessing in the U.S. and in Europe and the positive impact surrounding reprocessing. It is green, it saves money and many would feel it is just logical…

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Single-use Device Reprocessors Urge EU Regulators to Settle Key Issue

As the European Council continues its deliberations over a proposed comprehensive new Medical Device Regulation, the requirements for the reprocessing of single-use devices remains one of the main issues to be settled, according to Dan Vukelich …

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Practice GreenHealth Webinar: Embedding Sustainability in Hospital Operations through a Project-based Sustainability Training Program for Front-line Leaders

In order to truly integrate sustainability into hospital operations, effective engagement of front-line leaders is required. Senior leadership endorsement is a necessary prerequisite, but champions who are leaders of front-line staff are critical to educate and engage. At University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, we piloted a sustainability training program for front-line leaders across disciplines at one of our community hospitals in 2013. In this session, leaders from UH Geauga and Ahuja Medical Centers, the hospitals that have offered this sustainability training program to date, will share the story of developing, executing, and evaluating this training program as a case study that should help other hospitals and health systems to consider the development of a similar program for their own managers.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe strategies to integrate sustainability principles with common hospital strategic priorities including wellness, efficiency, safety, and quality
  • Plan development of project-based sustainability training program for front-line hospital leaders

Outline case study of successful sustainability training program development, execution, and evaluation that resulted in integration of sustainability principles in advancing hospital strategic priorities.

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

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.

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

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…”

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