December 5, 2012
By Doug Smock
Kaiser Permanente, a California-based healthcare group, saved $8.2 million in purchasing and waste disposal costs last year through use of reprocessed medical devices.
Re-use of medical devices is one part of an effort by Kaiser Permanente to improve sustainability and reduce costs. The growing national drive spearheaded by KP has important implications for the plastics industry beyond the already widely publicized efforts to curtail use of PVC in intravenous applications. Demand could weaken for single-use surgical instruments, for example. Demand could grow for special plastic containers to manage and haul regulated waste in another example.
…”We estimated that the seven study hospitals’ cost savings over five years was about $57 per procedure and that if hospitals nationwide adopted the study hospitals’ SUD reprocessing intervention, the cost savings would be $540 million annually, or $2.7 billion over five years…”