Hundreds of hospitals saved a collective $32 million in 2012 by reprocessing single-use medical devices, a practice that was highlighted by the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in its first milestone report detailing the program’s results over the past year.  The Healthier Hospitals Initiative is now composed of about 700 hospitals and three not-for-profit organizations—Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and the Center for Health Design.  It was formed in 2010 to improve providers’ sustainable purchasing practices and boost the hospital sector’s environmental health. Areas of focus include developing healthier food practices at healthcare facilities, reducing energy use and waste, and reprocessing single-use medical devices.

 The initiative aims to enroll 1,500 hospitals by this time next year, as environmental concerns increasingly are identified as a strategic risk for healthcare providers, said Gary Cohen, president of Health Care Without Harm and founder of HHI.

The report also found that the 370 hospitals it surveyed recycled 50 million pounds of waste, spent millions of dollars on PVC/DEHP-free products, and saved $32 million as a result of reprocessing, a practice that has become more common for hospitals during the past decade.

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