Becker’s Hospital Review

Authored by Lars Thording, Senior Director of Marketing and Public Affairs, Stryker Sustainability Solutions

March 6, 2012

Every healthcare facility faces the same challenge: to reduce costs without sacrificing the delivery of quality care. As a result of dwindling healthcare reimbursements, and increased awareness of environmental sustainability, more facilities are turning to reprocessed single-use devices as an effective resource management strategy. Reprocessing programs are used by more than half of U.S. hospitals and all seventeen of the U.S. News & World Report “Honor Roll” hospitals. 

As an industry, we have changed the way hospitals look at SUDs. Practices have evolved for hospitals to safely participate in reprocessing and remanufacturing programs while making smarter purchasing decisions and reducing their environmental footprint. It’s easier to become a healthier hospital today than it was as recently as ten, even five years ago.

…Impacting the industry
Members of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors help divert an estimated 9 million pounds of medical waste from landfills over the course of a year. Healthcare facilities are the second leading contributor of waste in the U.S., producing more than 4 billion pounds of waste annually. According to Practice Greenhealth, operating rooms are some of the most resource-intensive places in hospitals, generating between 20 and 30 percent of a facility’s waste. Much of that is disposed of as medical waste, which costs 10 to 15 times more to dispose than regular waste. Using reprocessed medical devices can help mitigate these numbers while also reducing costs.

Remanufactured devices are about half the cost of original manufactured single-use devices. It is estimated that the healthcare industry would save nearly $2 billion every year if just one or two percent of devices marked “single-use” by device manufacturers were able to be reprocessed through FDA-regulated third-party reprocessors. Smart purchasing decisions, including the use of reprocessed devices, allow hospitals to deploy more of their scarce resources towards improving patient care through quality initiatives, such as hiring more nurses or purchasing much-needed equipment. 

Click Here for Full Article

For more information on how hospitals can benefit from a successful reprocessing program, please visit AMDR on the web, Twitter, and Facebook!