[Washington, D.C. — 27 September, 2022] A new report from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), urges hospitals to reprocess medical devices to encourage and facilitate better resource stewardship.

The report, Reducing Healthcare Carbon Emissions: A Primer on Measures and Actions to Mitigate Climate Change offers a roadmap for U.S. hospitals to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050, in line with Biden Administration goals. Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, those coming from the supply chain, are found to cause the majority of emissions from hospitals. According to the report, medical devices are one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions within the supply chain, causing approximately 7% of U.S. healthcare sector GHG emissions.

“Reliance on single-use disposable medical supplies and devices not only leaves health systems vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, as seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are frequently cited as containing higher life cycle emissions per use compared with equivalent application of reusable alternatives. Healthcare organizations should strongly encourage and facilitate resource stewardship,” according to the Primer.

“We’re thrilled that HHS has recognized the role played by these FDA regulated devices,” said Daniel J. Vukelich, President and CEO, Association of Medical Device Reprocessors. “Our members encourage hospitals to view SUDs as hospital assets – not garbage because reprocessing reduces greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and cost – while making our supply chain more resilient.” . . .

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