Johns Hopkins finds physician support is key to recycling. If anyone could convince physicians about the merits of launching an initiative to recycle and reduce waste in the operating room, it’s Lauren C. Berkow, M.D. … “OR physicians are the key providers who need to be engaged to get these projects sustained and pushed forward,” Berkow says. “But many were not aware of the hospital’s sustainability efforts — they were focused on patient care.”

That changed with an educational effort that focused on the financial and environmental benefits of recycling… In addition, several other waste-reduction efforts were developed, including reprocessing surgical devices, using low-flow anesthesia and reducing paper use. Key results include:

  • Reducing RMW from 35 percent from mid-2010 to less than 14 percent in mid-2014 by placing it in the right containers.
  • Increasing recycling of all OR waste from less than 1 percent in mid-2010 to nearly 16.5 percent by mid-2014.
  • Saving nearly $5.5 million between 2010 and 2013 through an OR device reprocessing program.
  • Saving more than $2.5 million through a print management program that was started in 2012.

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