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7 comments

Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

Posted January 11, 2011 8:30 AM by Steve Melito

Hospitals are the second most energy-intensive buildings in the United States. They're also significant consumers of water and generators of waste. But that's only part of their environmental footprint. According to the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), America's health care sector is the nation's single largest user of chemicals. That's why HHI, a coalition of major health systems, is advancing its Healthier Hospitals Agenda to promote environmental sustainability and reduce pollution.

Hospitals that sign the HHI pledge commit their institutions to a three-point program of improving environmental health and patient safety, reducing resource consumption and waste generation, and institutionalizing hospital sustainability and safety. In practice, this means selecting green building materials, using clean energy, requiring suppliers to disclose chemical ingredients, switching from radiological imaging equipment to digital imaging equipment, and changing hospital menus to eliminate sugar-based soft drinks.

To date, 14 major hospitals and health care systems have signed the HHI pledge. As the health care industry continues to struggle with rising costs, however, should making hospitals sustainable be a priority?

Source: Healthier Hospitals Agenda

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#1

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/11/2011 5:00 PM

"...changing hospital menus to eliminate sugar-based soft drinks."

Huh?

What do orange juice, apple juice, and root beer have to do with the environmental footprint of a hospital? How will the elimination of these drinks "... promote environmental sustainability and reduce pollution."?

And just what will be offered? Milk, water, coffee and tea? These dispensed in a disposable cup no doubt.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/12/2011 1:20 AM

"...changing hospital menus to eliminate sugar-based soft drinks."

Great point, Doorman!! Guaranteed this idea wasn't high on the list of recommendations from the hospitals' plant engineering staffs or architects who specialize in hospital design. .......Ed Weldon

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/12/2011 3:15 AM

if u have any mood disorder is there meed of ecg or mri or cityscan?

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#4

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/12/2011 9:11 AM

So I just read through the HHA pdf outlining the program and what I see a lot of cost adders many of which are still difficult to tie to better delivery of health care services. I suppose adherance to the HHA will produce outcomes for those that can afford hospital care even as their numbers diminish.

But I'm not so sure that this is where our society's priorities in health care should be directed. Seems to me to be a lot of phoo-phoo stuff in the HHA when what we need is inexpensive clinics for people without any affordable source of health care.

One useful thing about the HHA is that it will provide a host of business opportunities for suppliers of all the new products and services it will encourage.

In the interest of full disclosure I need to mention that I've got Medicare and a Kaiser card. .............. Ed Weldon (lucky ED!!)

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#5

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/12/2011 10:23 AM

Hospitals generate a lot of waste in the interest of patient safety. Somehow, that's not something we should scrimp on. This whole thing just smacks of an ulterior agenda not necessarily in the best interests of the hospital or patient.

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#6

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/12/2011 1:46 PM

Smells of cap & trade...

Has Al Gore got a financial interest in this?

Seriously...

Hooker

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#7

Re: Is Your Hospital Sustainable?

01/13/2011 1:58 AM

The most energy-intensive buildings (outbound, at any rate) would be power plants of various types.

If hospitals are the second-most energy-intensive users (inbound), what are the first-most?

Maybe then we can change the subject to pollution....??

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