News

Hospital’s ‘Green Team’ cuts waste and expense

WHO officials say the answer to reducing such a heavy environmental footprint is environmentally sustainable policies, such as recycling, reprocessing, composting, and purchasing recycled materials. Such efforts not only reduce emissions from waste facilities, “but significantly reduce demand for primary materials, thus reducing deforestation, mining, and oil drilling and their associated greenhouse gas emissions,” states the report.

. . .She said the hospital’s program of reprocessing some surgical devices – an increasingly common practice – saved SVH $50,000 last year. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as Congress, oversees and regulates the practice of reprocessing surgical equipment.

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Dan Vukelich to Speak at Sterilization Event in Prague

AMDR President Daniel J. Vukelich, Esq. to present at the World Sterilization Congress in Prague this week: Reprocessing of Single-Use Medical Devices; Regulations Coming to Europe.

Detoxing Healthcare: Hospitals Get Healthier

Are hospitals making tiny babies sick?

That question troubled Kathy Gerwig, an executive at Kaiser Permanente, the big US healthcare provider, when she visited a Kaiser neonatal intensive care unit in San Francisco back in 2001, to take an inventory of medical equipment including IV tubing, blood bags and feeding tubes. She and her colleagues wanted to find out if they contained a chemical substance known as DEHP, a phthalate used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics to make them soft and flexible. Studies of animals had suggested that DEHP could be harmful to a fetus, especially to the reproductive systems in males.
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Inova Launches Red-Bag Waste Reduction Initiative

Pizza boxes, flowers, wadded-up paper, latex-glove boxes—those were just some of the items regularly tossed into the red bags reserved for regulated medical waste at Inova Health System, headquartered in Falls Church, Va. “You name it and it ended up in our red bags,” said Seema Wadhwa, Inova’s director of sustainability. “And it didn’t need to be there.”

In 2008, as part of a broader effort to improve sustainable practices, Inova’s senior leaders noticed the five-hospital system was generating far more regulated medical waste than was appropriate. Experts say regulated medical waste should account for 8% to 10% of a hospital’s total waste.
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Hospital Sustainability Spending on the Rise

[Please note: Reprocessing is NOT specifically mentioned in this story about hospital sustainability efforts, in a poll commissioned by Johnson & Johnson.]
Fifty-four percent of global health care professionals say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect that to be the case in two years, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Johnson & Johnson.

The global findings are similar to those of US health care providers, where 52 percent say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, with an increase to 81 percent expected in two years.
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Sustainability Trends Catching On At Hospitals

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative has released its 2013 Milestone Report, showing that more hospitals are adopting sustainability practices to reduce their environmental footprint while lowering costs and improving the health of patients and staff.

The report notes $45 in savings as a result of hospitals disposing of fewer and fewer devices after a single use.

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

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Reprocessed Medical Devices Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020″, the global reprocessed medical devices market was valued at USD 0.78 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.3% from 2014 to 2020, to reach USD 2.58 billion in 2020.

Full story here.

Reminder: Practice Green Health Symposium TOMORROW!

Tomorrow is Practice Green Health’s Greening the OR Symposium in Chicago.  Today is the last day to register. During the course of a one day workshop, discussion will cover strategies in the OR to reduce the environmental footprint and how to engage key stakeholders to make lasting changes. Topics will include energy and water reduction, waste minimization, environmentally preferable purchasing, and more.  More information here.

Health Care Savings Will More Than Cover the Cost of Reducing Emissions

RP Siegel writes: “People, primarily skeptics, often want to know what is the business case for taking action on climate change. Typically, all they can see is the prospect of energy prices going up since, they imagine, energy companies will be forced to make expensive modifications or pay taxes or credits that will raise the price of everything else while providing nothing additional in return. My favorite answer to the question is this one: What is the business case for not taking action? But recently I discovered another set of numbers that justify taking action, which leads me to believe there are probably even more waiting to be discovered.”

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Dan Vukelich Speaks at International Conference on SUDs in Saudi Arabia

Dan Vukelich is in attendance at the International Conference on Single Use Devices in Saudi Arabia. You can find him listed in the program under the third session: “Reprocessing of “Single-Use” Medical Devices: Legal liability and ethical aspects…Experience in the U.S.A.”

View all speakers here.