Infection Control Today

By Kelly M. Pyrek

While it provides the great capacity to heal, the healthcare industry is a sizable consumer of natural resources. According to Practice Greenhealth, the healthcare sector uses more than 800 trillion Btu of energy annually, costing $6.5 billion each year. Hospitals that have as many as 500-plus beds can use up to almost 300,000 gallons of water annually, and they can generate more than 6,500 tons of waste per day, costing $15 billion each year for solid waste disposal alone. There’s no dispute that the healthcare sector, comprising 17 percent of the gross national product (GNP), leaves a significant environmental footprint. Waste disposal in all sectors needs to be handled with the most care, but with a hospital, there is a chance for contamination and accidentally mixing waste together, that is why separate disposal management techniques are needed so that safety is kept at all times, this could mean utilizing services such as a skip bin hire sydney company like 7skipbins for general hospital waste, separated from contaminated waste.

In this article, we’ll look at how healthcare facilities can engage in environmentally preferred purchasing, reduce chemical use, actively seek alternative sustainable products, engage in green building, reduce consumption of energy, water and raw materials, minimize waste, engage in recycling programs, transition to renewable energy sources; eliminate incineration, and improve transportation strategies. These activities, however, hinge upon whether or not a healthcare institution makes sustainability an organizational priority with support that trickles down from the C-suite level. Experts say that sustainability must be integrated into all areas of the organization and its activities, internally and externally through leadership, education, and accountability and engagement in public policy and community education. Additionally, hospital leadership must encourage and incorporate sustainability as an essential element in the culture of the organization…

As previously stated, sustainability must be integrated into all areas of the organization, but that can only be accomplished when companies have a thorough understanding of the healthcare laws that must be followed in an organization. This is because a sustainable environment cannot be created unless all laws are properly followed. To accomplish this, new businesses or startups need to be aware of the health and safety benefits system of the organization. The reason is any business owner bears ultimate responsibility for the well-being of both employees and clients while they are on company premises or actively working elsewhere, and if it can be done sustainably, why not?

Strategies for Going Green

There are a number of ways that hospitals can implement environmentally friendly activities:

Address waste. Practice Greenhealth makes the following suggestions for waste minimization, segregation, and recycling in hospitals:
– Establish a “green team” comprised of nurses, administrators, environmental services staff and others who are responsible for waste handling and occupational and environmental health and safety.
– Conduct a waste audit by examining what comes into the hospital and what (and how it) leaves. For this it is important to understand the differences in types of waste, such as special waste. Observe red bag waste, solid waste, food waste, laboratory chemicals, and chemotherapeutic and pathological waste. Use the results of the audit to identify wasteful practices and develop a waste management strategy that incorporates waste reduction, reuse, and recycling measures. Segregating the waste at the point of generation, before treatment or disposal, is critical.
– Educate all hospital staff about the safe and appropriate segregation of waste for recycling, reuse and disposal. This is to both keep infection at bay and also keep away infection in different forms like flies or rodents. In a situation like this, a company like would need to be called in immediately because the dangers of this are serious. However, with effective waste management, it should never come to this at all. Cardboard, glass, office paper, cans, newspapers, magazines, and certain plastics are commonly recycled. Place signage at the point of waste disposal (trash cans, garbage bins, recycling containers, battery capturing receptacles) to reinforce the directions for proper segregation and disposal.
– Combine waste management strategies with sound purchasing practices to select reusable versus disposable products, as well as less hazardous products and products with less packaging…

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