Operating Room Sustainability is Critical to Healthcare Business

Operating Room Sustainability is Critical to Healthcare Business

by Vikas Vij
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#Hospital #sustainability programs help the environment, reduce costs + improve patient care http://bit.ly/1x1uYMc via @justmeans #health

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 8:00am



Healthcare comprises nearly 16 percent of the American economy. Hospitals operate round the clock, making a substantial environmental footprint. According to the EPA data, hospitals generate about 7,000 tons per day of waste, including infectious waste and hazardous waste. Mercury is used in medical devices and equipment, and several other hospital materials may have toxic effects. Hospitals also consume large amounts of energy and water.

Hospital sustainability programs can not only support the environment, but also reduce costs and improve the quality of patient care. Particularly, the Operating Room (OR) deserves maximum attention on the sustainability front. The OR is often the largest generator of revenue for a hospital, and it is also the largest generator of waste. According to Mayo Clinic’s Dr. John Abenstein, sustainability in the OR is the key to staying in business.

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​Image Credit: Flickr via Army Medicine

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.