Source: Ana B. Ibarra, California Healthline

It’s long been a problem for the nation’s hospitals: A staggering number of medical supplies — from surgical gloves to sponges to medications — go unused and are discarded after surgeries.

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has put a price tag on that waste: almost $1,000 per procedure examined at the academic medical center.

The research, published in May in the Journal of Neurosurgery, examined 58 neurosurgeries performed by 14 different surgeons at UCSF Medical Center, a leading academic hospital…

As health care costs continue to skyrocket, it is important to look for ways to contain them, said Dr. Michael Lawton, a neurosurgeon at UCSF and one of the study’s authors…

Some medical devices, whether used or unused during surgery, can be reprocessed by an FDA-approved third party company and sold back to the hospital for about half the original sales price, Lee explained. This allows hospitals to save money and cut down on the volume of disposable supplies that end up in landfill.

This strategy saved UCSF hospitals about $1.1 million over the past year, Lee said.

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