ars technica

by  – June 22 2012

A report recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that hospitals could save considerable sums of money by adopting a handful of common sense measures to reduce waste. The report asserts that 50 to 85 percent of regular waste is incorrectly disposed of as biohazard waste, which is estimated to cost eight times more to process. This alone can result in a hospital spending tens of thousands of dollars per year in unnecessary costs.

…the report also calls for a reversal of the 1980s trend from reusable to single use medical devices, which were adopted to address the risk of blood-borne infection. The report specifically proposes the reuse of surgical equipment such as saw blades and catheters, which can be “reprocessed” by private companies before selling them back to hospitals for half their original cost. A switch to reusable sharps containers has saved the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore $70,000 per year, and dressing surgeons in reusable surgical linens (which are preferable anyway, the report asserts) saved the same institution $38,000 in haulage in 2010…

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