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.