Why We Need Hospitals to Help Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

By Joshua Karliner, Director of Global Projects and International Team Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm

Every year, to simply operate, hospitals must burn through gigatons of fossil fuel energy. This doesn’t just contribute to global warming, it also creates the kind of local air pollution that kills seven million people every year. That’s more than double the toll of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. …Leading the fight against climate change is the smart thing — and the right thing — to do for a sector of society sworn to do no harm.

It’s a vicious and ironic cycle and, there is a pressing need for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and health systems around the world to respond to this emergency.

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10 Ways Hospitals Can Heal the Planet


By Kathy Gerwig

A healthy and sustainable environment is a necessary foundation for human health. On that most people agree. But there is an interesting paradox in health care: As hospitals deliver life-saving care to people, their environmental footprint — pollution, energy use, waste production, etc. — can be harmful to our health.
A growing segment of health care business and clinical leaders are addressing this glaring contradiction, and the medical community is taking an increasing vocal role in raising public awareness on the perils climate change poses to human health.

…Reduce hospital waste. Hospitals in the U.S. generate some 7,000 tons of waste per day, or more than 2.3 million tons a year. By making smarter purchasing decisions upstream and recycling, reusing, and composting waste, hospitals can save money while diverting loads of waste from landfills and incinerators.

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









A new market report published by Transparency Market Research is Reprocessed Medical Devices Market (Type of Devices: Cardiovascular, General Surgery, Laparoscopic, Orthopedic and Gastroenterology Devices) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020

According to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), more than 3,000 hospitals in the U.S. use reprocessed medical devices, due to which, almost 13,000 tons of medical waste has been eliminated to date. Moreover, approximately USD 2 billion to USD 3 billion worth medical expenditure could be saved by using reprocessed medical devices in the U.S. every year, and a typical hospital could save around USD 500,000 to USD 2 million per year. Hence, huge cost savings from using reprocessed medical devices has attracted several hospitals in adopting these devices. This factor is driving the growth of the market, especially in countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the prices of reprocessed medical devices are observed to be almost half of the original equipment, which makes them affordable for procurement, thereby spurring the demand.

Europe is estimated to witness the fastest growth rate (more than 15%) due to various factors such as growing demand for reprocessed medical devices and awareness about the potential savings in healthcare. At present, the European Union neither prohibits nor encourages the use of reprocessed medical devices in hospitals and healthcare facilities. However, with the introduction of uniform regulations on medical device reprocessing, the region is expected to experience remarkable market growth during the forecast period. – See more at:–transparency-market-research/40594#sthash.t3SWHDxx.dpuf

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A Greener Operating Room

green team surgery

Santa Monica Green Team Shows off their Recycling in the operation room

By Jessica Wolf, MBA, MSN and Kaeleigh Sheenan

With patient safety in mind, hospitals have been using more single-use disposable items, but unfortunately this leads to increased waste and cost. A new industry, single-use device reprocessing, has developed in response to this trend. Instead of throwing out or recycling a single-use device, many of these medical devices can be “reprocessed” by a third-party reprocessor and bought back by the hospital at almost 50% the original price. This process is stringently regulated, and each device is cleaned, sterilized, and function tested — so they can be safely used again. It has been estimated that if just 1 or 2% of all the disposable medical devices used in the US were reprocessed, the healthcare industry could save a billion dollars every year — money that could be better used for patient care, research, bringing new treatments to the bedside, and making healthcare more affordable.

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AMDR Position on the European Council’s Partial General Approach to a Proposed Medical Device Regulation

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Medical Devices and Amending Directive 2001/83/EC

On behalf of its member companies, the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR),1 applauds the European Council’s efforts regarding its Medical Device Regulation proposal (“Council’s Proposal”). Overall, AMDR strongly supports a number of measures in the Proposal.  Significantly, the Council secures a regulatory pathway for firms to market  reprocessed/remanufactured “single-use” devices (SUDs) by demonstrating that their products meet manufacturer requirements. This will allow hospitals and providers in the EU the ability to provide safe and effective reprocessed SUDs at less cost, while benefiting the environment. We, however, request that Trialogue negotiators strongly consider several necessary revisions to Article 15 and 49 to ensure clarity and fairness in the final Regulation.


AMDR’s suggested considerations and revisions are available in the full position paper here.

Smarter Purchasing Challenge: Have You Joined the Smarter Purchasing Challenge from Healthier Hospitals?

Healthier Hospitals Initiative Home


With 17 percent of the marketplace, health care wields major purchasing power.  This buying clout puts hospitals and health systems in an excellent position to demand safer, healthier, more environmentally-friendly products from vendors.

Yet few environmental standards exist for medical products. As a result, health care supply chain professionals must often go it alone.

Why Smarter Purchasing

Hospitals can leverage their collective purchasing power to generate demand for healthier and safer products

  • The health care sector represents 17 percent of the U.S. marketplace
  • Some products marketed to the industry generate unnecessary waste, contain hazardous materials or use excessive energy
  • Adoption by the health care sector will drive growing availability and adoption of smarter products

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Environmental Stewardship- Hospitals Going Green


Image result for hospitals going green

Lakewood Health System in Staples, Minn.,Goes Green For Its Community.


Source: Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Author: Kendal Gapinski, Associate Editor

It’s no secret that hospitals produce a lot of waste — with the worst offender being the surgery department. For the Lakewood Health System Hospital in Staples, Minn., going green means more than just tossing a few extra bottles in recycling; it’s engrained into everyday life.

“The community plays a big role in our being green, since we’re out in the middle of nowhere in a farming community,” says Audrey Witucki, LPN, CST, an active member of the hospital’s “Go Green” committee. “We don’t want to waste the hot water, we want to minimize the garbage and help preserve the farmland out here. After all, the farmers are our patients.”

This year’s OR Excellence Award Winner for Environmental Stewardship takes the commitment to the planet seriously, by reducing, reusing and recycling wherever it can.

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A Tale of Two SUD Reprocessing Programs: How Two Similar Health Systems Can Achieve Very Different Results


Helen Brann, CMRP, Materials Manager, Duke University Heart Center, and Angela Capone, RN, BSN, Cardiovascular Specialist, WakeMed

Authors’ note: This article was collaboratively written by Duke University Medical Center and WakeMed to document their experiences with SUD reprocessing and share lessons learned with other EP labs. 

Single-use device (SUD) reprocessing in the electrophysiology lab is a strategic initiative for many leading U.S. hospitals to help maximize limited healthcare resources. For good reason: hospitals that are highly engaged in a vascular reprocessing program can save $300,000 or more per year. However, achieving this magnitude of savings is not a slam-dunk. Two similar-sized health systems can achieve very different results.

Case in point: WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina, has seen its SUD reprocessing savings in the EP lab grow 326 percent since 2011, reaching $750,000 in 2014. Whereas Duke University Heart Center in Durham, North Carolina, saw its savings drop 43 percent — by over $355,000 — from 2013 to 2014.

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Profitable Expansion and Growth Predicted for MDR Industry in Coming Years




Reprocessed Medical Devices Market Analysis, Market Size, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts, 2015 to 2022

by Brad Micklin

[The] worldwide reprocessed medical devices market is predicted to observe a profitable expansion and growth over the projected period as a result of factors like rising significance of medical waste minimization in order to annihilate/curb ecological problems. Rising cost savings and enhanced sustainability of equipments like respiratory device, diaphragm fitting rings, esophageal manometry probes and gastrointestinal endoscopes are also predicted to drive the market demand over the forecasted time span. Modernization in device testing procedures, device inspection methods, device cleansing methods and device sterilization procedures makes the devices reusable. These reprocessed medical equipments/instruments are then considered safe for scientific applications and become high impact rendering drivers for the reprocessed medical devices market.

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Still #1 Focus: European Discussions on MDR and IVDR Regulations


With the political summer break over, discussions on the proposed Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) are scheduled to pick up again with trilogue discussions between the Commission, Parliament and Council expected to begin in the middle of October. There are also additional Council working party meetings scheduled for 8, 9, 15 and 22 September (click here for more info). MedTech Europe members EDMA and Eucomed will continue to actively engage with policy makers as these critical dossiers enter into the next phase of the negotiation.

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