Green operating room program reducing waste

By Healthcare Facilities Today
January 27, 2014
Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

The operating room (OR) is the source of 20 to 30 percent of a hospital's total waste volume despite its relatively small footprint, according to a study by the McKesson Group.

A few years ago Practice Greenhealth, Reston, Va., recognized that the pervasive OR waste also represented an opportunity. It launched its Greening the OR initiative in April 2010 with about 50 participants, according to an article on the Health Facilities Management website.

Approaching it's fourth year,  the program has about 425 hospital participants, with more using the free program's tools, Laura Wenger, R.N., executive director, Practice Greenhealth, said in the article

The mission is to raise awareness and educate hospitals about how they can develop a more sustainable OR. Reducing the glut of medical instrument packaging, smarter waste segregation and recycling are cornerstones of the program.

Greening the OR targets other areas for cost-savings and waste-reduction, including:

• Single-use device reprocessing;

• Energy-efficient LED lighting;

• HVAC setback systems;

• Reusable surgical instrument cases.

"We try to look at greening the OR from a holistic perspective and not just waste, although reducing waste is definitely a large opportunity,"  Wenger said.

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Topic Area: Sustainable Operations


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