Becker’s Hospital Review

November 6, 2012

Written by Bob Herman

If hospitals and health systems focus their efforts on becoming a “sustainable” organization to reduce their costly environmental footprints, they could realize savings of $15 billion over 10 years, according to a study from The Commonwealth Fund (pdf). 

Hospitals are among the most energy-intensive facilities in the country, and energy can consume upwards of 3 percent of a hospital’s operating budget. Between the wasted costs and pollutant emissions, environmentally unsound practices have a major impact on public health.

Researchers looked at four main areas where hospitals could improve their sustainability to both help the environment and public health while also saving billions in unnecessary costs.

3. Reprocessing and reuse of OR supplies. Operating room supplies that are reprocessed and/or reused (i.e., cleaning and sterilizing single-use medical devices at a reduced price) can save the hospital money from the supply chain side as well as the waste reduction side. In fact, SUD reprocessing savings could average $12 per procedure…

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