Green Hospitals

Going green has been a trend recently, partly due to its popularity as a concept and also as a potential avenue to save certain costs.  “At Virginia Mason, we select sustainability projects that benefit health and well-being, either through improved quality of care or improved quality of life,” says Brenna Davis, Director of Sustainability at Virginia Mason.  “If a project is outside these parameters, then it is not core to our work, and we do not pursue it.”  Indeed many hospitals want to “go green” and modify their energy consumption, waste disposal and chemical use to lessen their impact on the environment.  Brian Bravo, Corporate Procurement Officer and Director of Materials Management at Broward Health states, “Broward Health has been able to divert over 2,870,370 pounds of waste from landfills within just three of its reprocessing of single-use devices, operating room waste reduction, and integrated waste-stream solution programs alone and has been able to save $1,897,609 with these programs.”

Wharton University of Pennsylvania produced a report this year on the topic of building sustainability in hospitals.  Here are some of the highlights of the report:

94% of hospitals say they want medical product manufacturers to lower the cost of their sustainable products.

90% of hospitals would like their existing products to be made more sustainable.

90% of hospitals state they want medical product manufacturers to provide information on sustainability benefits.

80% of healthcare professionals claim the cost of implementing a sustainable program is a major barrier.

79% of healthcare professionals cite green product affordability as a barrier to implementing a sustainable program.

69% of healthcare professionals state availability of green products is a concern.

60% of healthcare professionals claim they have a strong commitment to sustainability from top management.

55% of healthcare professionals believe that sustainability improves health outcomes.

The report also notes that hospitals expect to increase sustainable product purchasing in 2016 by 45% and the report deduces that the healthcare industry would save $15 billion over 10 years by implementing energy conservation programs, reducing waste and purchasing products more efficiently.

The report can be found here.

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