06/04/2012

Green Operating Rooms Benefit Bottom Line and Environment

 
Green operating rooms may save dollars, lives, and the environment.

Considering greening operating rooms?  A new analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows cost savings and reduced environmental impact without compromising patient care.

Operating rooms produce approximately 20%-33% of all waste in hospitals, and much of this waste is subjected to specialized high-energy processing which is expensive and has negative environmental and health impacts. Figures from 2007 indicate that US health care facilities contributed 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions and disposed of more than 4 billion pounds of waste, making the sector the second-largest producer of landfill waste after the food industry. In 2008, Canadian hospital activities were the second most energy-intensive activity, consuming the energy of 440,000 homes.

Greening operating rooms at a glance:

  • Separating waste into normal waste and biohazard or medical waste streams, as the latter requires high-energy processing, and training staff to differentiate. An estimated 50%-80% of normal waste is disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Investing in closed collection systems to discharge liquid waste into sanitary sewers, which reduces the amount of waste needing high-energy treatment.
  • Using smart monitors to reduce energy use when operating rooms are vacant.
  • Partnering with medical equipment companies to promote greener packaging; a major contributor to waste is plastic packaging.
  • Donating unused equipment to developing countries.
  • Reprocessing single-use devices to make them suitable for reuse.
  • Exploring alternative disposal methods to incineration, which is responsible for significant emissions of dioxin and furan in Canada.
  • Creating environmental stewardship staff teams to promote and coordinate greening activities.

“A single operation may produce more waste than a family of four produces in a week," states the analysis.

"Operating rooms pose a particular challenge to waste management because of the need for absolute sterility," write the authors. "Fortunately, technologies and waste-reduction strategies have emerged that satisfy the 'triple bottom line' (people, planet and profits), by reducing health care costs and environmental effects without compromising patient care."

 

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Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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