A Moral Imperative for Healthcare Professionals
Climate change is a public health issue that threatens all of us. Water and air pollution increase, leading to more chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma. Increased temperatures due to climate change lead to increased ground-level ozone, which cause airway inflammation and damages lung tissue. That hospitals are a leading cause of climate change producing emissions should be a call to action to all healthcare workers to reduce waste and lower emissions.
Reducing Costs by Reprocessing
Report after report sounds the alarm. Hospitals are running out of money. One example: News from the Washington State Hospital Association that, if current trends continue, “about half of the state’s hospitals will be out of money by the end of 2023.” Hospitals in the state face over $2.5 billion in losses. The culprit is a brew comprised of longer hospital stays, growing wages, and a spike in travel costs.
Growing the Circular Economy in the Health Sector
We learn from the earliest age that nature is circular. When a plant or animal is born it enters a circle of life. But in the industrialized world, when a new cell phone model is released or a refrigerator is broken “beyond repair,” we are conditioned to buy anew. Each new product requires raw materials to be extracted from the Earth. Additional non-renewable resources are used to manufacture, assemble, then ship the product.
Strengthening the Supply Chain
What began as a pandemic-driven personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage has grown into a massive worldwide, healthcare products supply chain nightmare. “This is a national problem,” said Lori Lee, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, Yale New Haven Health, in an interview with Forbes. When shortages of PPE were resolved, “everyone was happy, including us. What people don’t realize is that now it has moved to all these other categories
The Right to Repair Medical Devices
By reprocessing “single-use” medical devices (SUDs), hospitals reduce costs, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Best Practices from Top Reprocessing Hospitals
Over 300 types of medical devices labelled for “single-use” are regulated or cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other Notified Bodies for commercial reprocessing (known as “remanufacturing” in Europe). While over 10,300 hospitals use at least some reprocessed devices, most hospitals are not realizing the full benefits of reprocessing.
Want to Start Reprocessing SUDs?
The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) is the global trade association for the regulated, commercial “single-use” medical device (SUD) reprocessing industry (known as “remanufacturing” in Europe).
“Single Use” Does not Always Mean “Use Only Once”
With the advent of better plastics in the early 1980s, and the then-threat of the little understood HIV/AIDS virus, the market for disposable medical devices exploded. A culture in healthcare has since enshrined the belief that disposables are safer, less expensive, and more convenient (The Verge, March 2020).