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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Protect your Reprocessing Savings with Stryker!

stryker imageCheck out how Stryker Sustainability Solutions is helping hospitals increase their supply chain cost savings! “Protect your Reprocessing Savings” on p.40

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Reaping the Benefits: Reprocessing Medical Devices, from the Advisory Board Company

Health Care Sustainability Initiative

What is Medical Device Reprocessing?

Medical device reprocessing involves diverting used devices from recycling for use by that institution or by another. While this is mostly a technique used for minimally invasive disposables, some have started reprocessing surgical devices as well. Reprocessing can save on landfill costs and, for hospitals reusing devices, repurchasing costs.

Currently, around 3,000 hospitals have reprocessing programs.

Unnecessary Waste

30% Percentage of hospital waste originating from the operating room

Avoidable Costs

$2B Potential annual savings to the US health care system from reprocessing and repurchasing 2% of all medical devices

50% Potential cost savings from purchasing reprocessed medical devices instead of new devices

$213K Annual savings by one health system from purchasing reprocessed medical devices

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 Cash in On Environmental Sustainability


AdvaMed Rearranges FDA’s Priority List

The medical device trade group tells FDA which guidance topics should be tackled first.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has voiced its opinion on which topics the medtech industry believes should be FDA’s highest priorities.

In early January, FDA’s Centers for Device and Radiological Health (CDRH) released its Fiscal Year 2015 Proposed Guidance Development. This set out a prioritized list of topics for which CDRH may issue draft and final guidance documents in FY15. The topics are broken down into two lists–the A-list and the B-list. CDRH intends to publish guidance on A-list topics in FY15, while guidance on B-list topics will be published “as…resources permit.” The window for comments on the proposal closed earlier this month.

In a comment posted last week, AdvaMed sounded off on the CDRH list, giving the agency its own take on which topics are most important. This meant the trade group would like to see some of the A-list topics reshuffled according to priority, some B-list topics moved to the A-list grouping and vice versa, as well as a few new topics added…

The trade group also wants to see several guidance documents updated, including guidance on “Cybersecurity for Networked Medical Devices Containing Off-the-Shelf (OTS) Software” and “Pilot Program to Evaluate a Proposed Globablly Harmonized Alternative for Premarket Procedures.”

FDA has already made progress on its list since the comment period closed earlier this month. On March 12, FDA released its finalized guidance on medical device reprocessing in the health care setting.

The agency does not get to all of the A-list topics each year. Some topics such as “Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Optimize Medical Device Design” have been carried over from the FY14 priority list and made AdvaMed’s FY14 high priority list as well.

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Sustainability in the Operating Room

… Sustainability in the OR is a multipronged initiative that can include, but is not limited to, recycling and reprocessing equipment; reducing prescription drug waste; properly disposing of medical waste; and choosing and managing anesthetics to reduce the overall amount of inhalants used and dispersed into the atmosphere.

“Sustainability in the OR involves changing habits in a culture that needs to be so exacting,” says Susan Ryan, M.D., clinical professor of anesthesiology at UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco. Surgeons, anesthesiologists and perioperative nurses are cautious, Abenstein acknowledges. “There is a fear of the unknown, of anything that can put the patient at risk.”

Lauren Berkow, M.D., associate chief of the division of neuroanesthesia at Johns Hopkins Health System, Baltimore, says educating physicians on the financial and environmental impacts of OR sustainability will go a long way toward achieving buy-in.

Her organization saved more than $5 million on an OR reprocessing program between 2010 and 2013. “It’s important to show results to build on your success,” Berkow adds…

Key Steps in Greening the OR

…Dedicate a Green Team focused on sustainability in the operating room. Create a multidisciplinary team to oversee sustainability initiatives in the OR. Participants may include representatives from nursing, materials management, anesthesiology, environmental services and surgery, among others.

Educate OR staff on the benefits of sustainability.
Spell out to operating room staff the importance of sustainability. Getting buy-in up front will help to ensure the program’s success.

Tackle waste. Conduct a waste audit to help identify ways to streamline medical waste disposal. Preventing items from unnecessarily being placed in the regulated medical waste stream, which is more costly to dispose, can result in significant savings.

Purchase reprocessed medical devices. Partner with an approved third-party processor to purchase reprocessed medical devices, and reprocess eligible devices….

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Three Ways to Sell your Hospital on Sustainability

Despite popular perceptions that sustainability measures will financially drain hospitals and health systems, they can drive savings when organizations take certain steps,according to a new report from the University of Pennsylvania.

There are numerous ways that hospitals can make operations greener, such as conserving water and sourcing food locally, but part of what holds back many providers from implementing sustainability initiatives is their focus on the short-term bottom line.

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The 2014 Practice Greenhealth Sustainability Benchmark Report

Check out the just released 2014 Practice GreenHealth Sustainability Benchmark Report (members only). The report again highlights that award-winning hospitals adopt SUD reprocessing as a means to cut regulated medical waste. In fact, according to the report, “eighty-eight percent of facilities have implemented reprocessing programs, saving a total of $49.2 million and diverting 847 tons of waste out of the regulated medical waste stream.”

This is the only report that shows comprehensive data illustrating the progress of sustainability across the health care sector in such detail. In addition to reporting out on metrics, the report shares sustainability trends and emerging areas of focus, such as the Greening the OR® Initiative.

Read more on p. 34, 36-37, 50-51 of the Report.

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