Going 'Green' May Cut Hospital Costs02/21/11
MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Implementing practical,
environmentally friendly practices in operating rooms and other
hospital facilities could reduce health-care costs without
compromising patient safety, says a new study.
In the United States, health-care facilities are a major source
of waste products, producing more than 6,600 tons per day and more
than 4 billion pounds a year. Nearly 70 percent of hospital waste
is produced by operating rooms and labor-and-delivery suites.
Operating rooms have energy-sucking overhead lights and it's
common for OR staff to open sterilized equipment that is never
used, and to fill red bags that are labeled as medical waste with
harmless trash that could be disposed of more cheaply, said the
Johns Hopkins researchers.
"There are many strategies that don't add risk to patients but allow hospitals to cut waste and reduce their carbon footprints," study lead author Dr. Martin A. Makary, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a Hopkins news release.
He and his colleagues reviewed research on hospitals'
environmental practices and then convened a panel of experts to
create a list of practical eco-friendly strategies that could be
used in operating rooms.
The top five strategies were: cutting down on and separating
operating room waste; reprocessing single-use medical devices;
considering the environment when making purchasing decisions;
improving energy consumption; and improved management of pharmacy
The study appears in the February issue of the journal
Archives of Surgery.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips
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