Greening the Health System

Case Studies

UCSF Case Study | Single Use Isolation Gowns, 2016
Single use isolation gowns are many times used for less than 5 minutes and discarded into the solid waste stream. With multiple healthcare providers entering an isolation patient room for teaching and care giving, it is estimated that upwards of 200 gowns can be used per day per room. Isolation rooms generally store packages of 10 gowns in the room for use. If the patient is discharged before the 10 gowns are used, the remaining gowns are thrown away unused. This is a wasteful practice that adds to the waste stream and wastes money.

HH Case study: Virginia Mason | Single Use Device Reprocessing, 2/28/16
Single-use medical devices are expensive resources that end up in the landfill after use. By using reprocessed medical devices, Virginia Mason has provided the highest quality of care, while reducing waste to the landfill and reducing supply costs by over $3M in three years. In 2014, Virginia Mason reprocessed or recycled over 18,850 pounds of devices, which may have otherwise have been discarded in a landfill.  View case study:

HH Case Study: University Hospitals Health System | Healthy Interiors Goal, 2/28/16
University Hospitals (UH) is committed to environmental sustainability and signed onto all six Challenges of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), including the Safer Chemicals Challenge. The Safer Chemicals Challenge includes a goal to reduce the use of furnishings containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC), halogenated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds (PFC) and formaldehyde. University Hospitals was able to report that 71 percent of target furnishings purchased in 2014 contained safer alternatives through collaboration with suppliers to develop an internal “healthy furniture” catalog and to simplify purchasing processes for UH employees in order to institutionalize the goal.  View case study:

HH Case Study: UMass Medical School | Combined Heat and Power Expansion Project, 2/28/16
The CHP project was undertaken to better support a growing campus. To make this project financially possible, UMass Medical School combined current construction efforts to include a new Combined Heat and Power System and received financial incentives from the local utility company. The project saved annually 58,000 MWh in electricity and $6.2 million.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center | Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) Reduction, 2/28/16
Since 2009, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center has reduced their regulated medical waste (RMW) from 10 to seven percent of total waste, saving an estimated $2,000 per year in waste disposal fees. The operating room and endoscopy personnel identified opportunities for improvement. This win-win opportunity was accomplished through education, improved segregation and regular audits.  View case study:

HH case study:  Spectrum Health | Green Cleaning Goal, 2/28/16
Spectrum Health identified that many of the cleaning products used were harmful to patients, employees and the environment. In 2006, Butterworth and Blodgett evaluated existing chemicals used and transitioned to environmentally preferred cleaners. The outcome was a healthier work environment for staff, a healthier recovery environment for patients and reduced overall cleaning costs.  View case study:

HH Case Study: Seattle Children’s Hospital | Surgical Kit Review, 2/28/16
Seattle Children’s Hospital has a strategic environmental management plan to help safeguard health and resources, while lowering operating costs so it can fulfill its founding promise: “To care for every child in our region, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.” Part of that work is the reduction of waste. By evaluating the surgical kits in operation rooms with staff and the facility’s vendor every 1-2 years, the team is able to eliminate unnecessary items and prevent their waste. The end results are streamlined surgical kits, enhanced vendor relationships and cost savings.  View case study:

HH Case study:  Palomar Health | Sustainable, Local and Organic Food Purchasing, 2/28/16
With its position in the community, 4,400 employees, and over 2 million meals prepared per year, Palomar Health has a significant opportunity to make a positive impact on human health and the environment by serving more sustainable, local, and organic produce.  View case study:

HH Case study:  Kaiser Permanente | Purchasing Environmentally Responsible Electronics with EPEAT, 2/28/16
Kaiser Permanente is strongly committed to the health and safety of its patients and staff. The organization honors that dedication by purchasing 100 percent EPEAT laptops, desktops, and monitors, and striving to replicate this for other electronic devices. The business cost of purchasing the computer systems was cost neutral, with an added energy savings of $5 million per year.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Johns Hopkins Hospital | Balanced Menus Goal, 2/28/16
Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) took their commitment to the Healthier Food Challenge’s Balanced Menus Goal of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative seriously. Given that meat is often the most expensive product category for hospital food service departments, JHH adopted the “less meat, better meat” strategy, first reducing by 15 percent the amount of meat they purchased overall in 2014 and then investing in purchasing healthier, more sustainably-produced meat products.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Hudson Hospital & Clinic | Recycling, 2/28/16
Environmental degradation of the St. Croix River prompted community leaders of its border communities to come together to address the issue and resolve to improve river health by improving operations in their respective organizations. Hudson Hospital & Clinic successfully implemented a paper use reduction initiative and enhanced recycling program, which became a building block to ongoing organizational performance improvement. Since 2010, Hudson Hospital and Clinic achieved a median recycling rate of 37.60 percent of total hospital waste (HHI goal: 15 percent).  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Hackensack University Medical Center | Energy Efficiency, 2/28/16
Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC), a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. HackensackUMC is committed to sustainability and doing no harm by providing a sustainable environment for patients, staff and community. HackensackUMC recognized that there was an opportunity for energy conservation and to address an infrastructure that was outdated and inefficient. The hospital partnered with PSE&G to make necessary energy efficient upgrades to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as costs.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Bronson Methodist Hospital | Bringing Sustainability Programming to the Next Level, 2/28/16
Over the past 20 years Bronson Methodist Hospital has put considerable effort toward creating a solid sustainability program through initiatives such as recycling programs, local food sourcing efforts, and hazardous chemical reduction strategies. However the hospital reached a point where if it were to continue to expand and improve its sustainability program, it needed to grow beyond the more easily-captured efforts and focus on initiatives that would require considerably more time and effort to achieve.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Dayton Children’s Hospital | Healthier Beverages, 2/28/16
National and local data identified childhood obesity as a growing problem. Based on that research, Dayton Children’s Hospital chose to address childhood obesity by eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) from their campus. Since May 2014, they have been 100 percent SSB-free in the cafeteria and vending machines.  View Case Study:

HH Case Study:  Cleveland Clinic | EcoCaregiver™ - Individual Behaviors Help Reduce Energy, 2/28/16
To meet Cleveland Clinic’s $12m energy demand reduction target, one of the reduction strategies focused on caregivers’ workplace behaviors. In November 2014, a mandatory online training on energy demand management for all caregivers was launched. Cleveland Clinic’s EUI is down 9.35 percent since the 2010 baseline, nearly 37,000 caregivers have taken the training, 29 caregiver-driven ideas are being implemented, and caregiver engagement scores are on the rise.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Broward Health | Custom Surgical Kit Reformulation, 2/28/16
Broward Health (BH) conducts various evaluations annually to determine opportunities for cost savings. In 2010, BH determined that waste had accumulated due to custom procedure kits (CPK), resulting in increased costs. The hospital system worked with a consulting firm to analyze the CPK program, which led to successful identification of areas needing improvements and an action plan that put in place greater efficiencies.  View case study:

HH Case Study:  Beaumont Health | DEHP/PVC Reduction, 2/28/16
As a component of an application to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for a new construction project, AAMC set a goal to achieve a 50 to 75 percent diversion rate of demolition and construction debris.  View case study:

HH Case study:  Anne Arundel Medical Center | C&D Debris Diversion, 2/28/16
As a component of an application to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for a new construction project, AAMC set a goal to achieve a 50 to 75 percent diversion rate of demolition and construction debris.  View case study:
THRIVE — Setting Bold Environmental Stewardship Goals with Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente integrated sustainability into the operations of its organization and uses the lens of health for purchasing and supply chain management, new construction and renovations, policy and advocacy, community benefit integration, formal reporting, communications and much more. Greenhealth Academy

Practice Greenhealth launches hospital sustainability tool Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit membership and networking organization for sustainable healthcare, has announced a new tool designed to help hospital and health system professionals build support for sustainability by creating buy-in among key leaders. The tool is called the Engaged Leadership Guide, and it includes strategies to address common misconceptions about sustainability, operational opportunities to embed environmental stewardship…

CDC Foundation, GOJO to promote hand hygiene in US healthcare settings According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on any given day, 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011. About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.  FMLink