HealthWare Systems Blog
Go Green to Reduce Hospital Waste & Lower Hospital Costs (Part 2 of 2)
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Last week we discussed the effects of staff education on helping you reduce hospital waste and lower hospital costs. Below are two more strategies to help you achieve these goals.
Many hospitals have increased their use of disposable medical supplies that hamper hospital and environmental sustainability efforts. Health facilities can be drawn to single-use items that seem more convenient and cheaper upfront, but may cost more than “greener,” reusable items in the long run.
Practice Greenhealth’s Cost of Ownership Calculator can help you compare products and choose those with the lowest costs and smallest environmental impact. This tool looks beyond the price tag of an item to examine every cost a hospital will incur during the “acquisition, use, maintenance, and disposal” of the product over its lifetime.
There are some items that you cannot avoid purchasing in disposable form, due to patient safety concerns and health regulations. But where possible, reprocessed equipment can reduce hospital waste and lower hospital costs.
Paperless Healthcare Solutions
Besides tossing disposable supplies, how much paper is your facility throwing out? From completing registration paperwork and consent forms, to obtaining physician referrals and third party documents, hospitals are responsible for a great deal of paper consumption. Fortunately, there are paperless healthcare solutions for managing each of these tasks:
1. You can automate patient registration by setting up a paperless registration system that is better for the environment and makes the registration process more accurate and efficient.
2. With an electronic healthcare forms library, there is no need to stockpile pre-printed forms that may go unused. Any form can be easily printed on-demand and updates to forms can be made electronically and in real-time, saving you from the cost and waste of destroying old versions that can no longer be used due to new revisions. The need for blue cards and labels is also eliminated thanks to barcode automation. Patients can even sign consent forms using electronic signature on electronic healthcare forms.
3. A physician order management system can help you electronically organize all incoming orders and referrals, regardless of source. Read here how one hospital reduced its paper usage by 1.3 million pages per year and eliminated 18,333 folders by going paperless with the solution ActiveXCHANGE.
Not only will these strategies help you reduce hospital waste and lower hospital costs, but they will also increase your appeal to today’s consumers and top job candidates who are attracted to organizations that practice corporate social responsibility. Establishing environmentally-friendly policies and procedures is an excellent way to do your part in protecting our world while also ensuring the sustainability of your own facility.
Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part blog series.