certain types of medical waste, it costs more to put regulated waste
into the waste stream than non-regulated waste and the costs multiply
quickly. The Sustainability Report for Hospitals estimates that the
industry could save as much as $4-7 billion annually by implementing
waste reduction, recycling, and environmentally-preferable purchasing programs. When you consider there are also significant environmental benefits, it becomes a pretty compelling argument to make
these initiatives a priority.
Many healthcare providers prescribe to the notion that a healthy
environment positively contributes to a healthier patient population,
and vice-versa. So, we’re not only talking about reducing the amount
of waste going into local landfills, but we’re also talking about doing
as much as possible to minimize any negative impact our behaviors
have on future patient populations.
Hosler: A typical 10-suite operating room can save nearly $60,000 annually in hazardous waste packaging, treatment, and disposal costs with the
implementation of a fluid waste management system. In addition, avoiding staff exposure to infectious fluid waste – and the potential harm and
cost associated with an exposure – is helpful from a financial standpoint.
SP: What are some reasons why facilities do not
adopt these methods? What holds them back? How
can this be overcome?
Nuber: It comes down to budget dollars and where they want to be
spent. Quite often, I’m not sure people truly understand the value
of something like a sterile packaging choice and the impact it has
Liszewski: There’s a common misperception that pursuing
sustainability initiatives is expensive, and likewise that environmentally-preferable products are more expensive. While there are
some cases where these products cost more, this belief is often
false. If you look at the lifecycle of the product, many environmental
products actually cost less. Facilities that want to make sustainability and EPP programs work for them should focus on evolving the
thinking around environmental accounting and cost evaluation.
Additionally, some facilities struggle with establishing sustainability best practices because staff members are constantly under pressure
to turn operating rooms over for the next case as quickly as possible.
This rushed atmosphere is often cited as a hindrance to greener
behaviors, such as disposing used items into appropriate collection
containers after a procedure.
Facilities can help alleviate this issue with the vocal support of
the C-level. They can also work with their vendors to accurately
train staff, simplify processes, and track success to help staff better
understand how significantly their behaviors impact hospital waste
Contact your Zimmer representative or
visit: www.ORFluid Waste.Zimmer.com
Convenient, nurse-designed system
Easy-to-use disposable manifolds
Replaces multiple disposable canisters and gelling agents
On-board regulated suction
Reusable reservoirs reduce red bag waste cost by up to 70%
Applies EPA-approved disinfectant during the cleaning process
Class-leading fluid capacity
Flexible docking station