The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors is happy to celebrate Earth Day today and congratulate our partners who are committed to implementing sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.  The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 to bring awareness to the environment and the responsibility all individuals, businesses and governments have in protecting and preserving natural resources and wildlife.

AMDR member-companies are committed to greening healthcare.  Medical device reprocessing is said to be the single most impactful sustainability initiative currently undertaken by U.S. hospitals. (see these articles by Infection Control Today and Environmental-Expert).  By using FDA-regulated, third-party reprocessors, U.S. hospitals can not only extend the life of their existing medical devices (and thus save money) but they can reduce the amount of operating room waste generated (also saving money).  AMDR has assembled a “green year in review,” highlighting the green and reprocessing related stories of the last 12 months.  Stories at links below.

Green Year in Review 

•    Reprocessing of single-use devices: $18.3 million saved
•    Recycling: $16.8 million saved

  • Becker’s Hospital Review discusses How Green Practices Can Save Hospitals Millions.
  • DOTmed News discusees how It’s Not Easy Being Green (but Well Worth It) including discussing Refurbishment/reprocessing programs offer hospitals cost cutting routes, through long-term fiscal and environmental value, reducing supply costs and the environmental impact of providing care.
  • New Jersey’s Hackensack University Medical Center sees a 34 percent reduction in operating room waste after instituting a recycling program in all 22 of the main operating rooms
  • Health Facilities management discusses how sustainability delivers big savings for hospitals:
    • Of the $55 million in waste reductions achieved by the hospitals analyzed, about $49 million was derived through single-use device (SUD) reprocessing, recycling and electric power reduction.  The $18.3 million in savings through SUD reprocessing was the most in any single category, and represents a 35 percent increase from the $11.8 million saved in 2010.
    • “The nice thing about reprocessing is that it’s applicable to every organization whether you’re small or large.”
  • Healthier Hospitals Initiative and Health Care Without Harm release a study stating that by being more environmentally-minded, the healthcare sector could save $5.4 billion over five years and $15 billion over 10 years.
  • GreenHealth addresses SUD reprocessing as one critical method hospitals can create a more sustainable operating room.  Not only does using reprocessed “single-use” devices provide a significant opportunity to reduce the volume of regulated medical waste, but it’s also a safe and effective method to reduce the operating room’s supply budget and save valuable financial resources.
    • Reprocessing of single-use devices is now common practice in many ORs, with all of U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” hospitals choosing to reprocess single-use devices and 82 percent of Practice Greenhealth Award winners.
  • Becker’s Hospital Review writes on First do no harm where currently healthcare facility operations has a very large “environmental footprint” and 1 percent of all solid waste in the U.S. originates at healthcare facilities.
  • Johnson and Johnson Drives Toward a Healthy Future.
  • Adam Cornfield, Product Manager for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Diagnostics & Device sector, discusses the company’s Earthwards process to respond to customer demands for more sustainable health care products.
  • Gary Cohen, Co-Founder and President of Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, and on the board of the American Sustainable Business Council and Health Leads, published an article in Forbes as part of a special series for World Health Day.
  • Protecting the environment is a top priority for the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.  In its journey to greener options, it has published its first “sustainability report” which documents a variety of sustainability efforts to save money, reduce waste, reduce emissions, improve quality and increase efficiency.
  • Eco RI News reports in an effort to encourage more hospital sustainability, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment in Rhode Island (H2ERI) has presented their inaugural Rhode Island Environmental Sustainability Awards.
  •  Genesis Health System, which provides healthcare services in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, has earned a Silver Award from Stryker Sustainability Solutions for its reprocessing and remanufacturing of medical supplies.
Let’s make this next year greener than ever!