, Tread Carefully When Reprocessing SUDs (05/12/10):

Reprocessing has been around for decades and was much more controversial years ago, when no one was certain about the safety of using reprocessed instruments and the potential liability if they led to patient harm. Now much of that doubt has been cast aside, and a recent commentary in Academic Medicine received attention for calling on providers to adopt reprocessing more widely as a way to go green.1 The authors of the commentary, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, pointed out that more than 25% of U.S. hospitals are using reprocessing as a means of decreasing the tons of disposable waste generated annually. In 2008 alone, there was a 20% increase in hospital utilization of reprocessing services offered by one leading reprocessing service, and associated cost savings of $138,142,000 nationwide. This represented 4,300,000 pounds (2,150 tons) of medical waste diverted from local landfills, they noted.