The Disposable Society and Industrial Society hit the medical profession hard. They throw out and stamp out enough product to treat most of the third world. It is despicable actually. We wonder why we spend twice as much on medicine as the rest of the world and have crappier outcomes? Well once hospitals became “cost centers”, the game was pretty much over.
Going Green in the Hospital: Recycling Medical Equipment Saves Money, Reduces Waste and Is Safe
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — Wider adoption of the practice of recycling medical equipment — including laparoscopic ports and durable cutting tools typically tossed out after a single use — could save hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars annually and curb trash at medical centers, the second-largest waste producers in the United States after the food industry.
The recommendation, made in an analysis by Johns Hopkins researchers in the March issue of the journal Academic Medicine, noted that with proper sterilization, recalibration and testing, reuse of equipment is safe.
“No one really thinks of good hospitals as massive waste producers, but they are,” says lead author Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., a surgeon and associate professor of public health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There are many things hospitals can do to decrease waste and save money that they are not currently doing.”
Hospitals toss out everything from surgical gowns and towels to laparoscopic ports and expensive ultrasonic cutting tools after a single use. In operating rooms, some items that are never even used are thrown away — single-use devices that are taken out of their packaging must be tossed out because they could have been contaminated. Selecting such good devices for resterilization and retesting could decrease the amount of needless waste from hospitals.
And, the researchers say, hospitals could procure more items designed to be used safely more than once after being sterilized.
Hospitals, they add, are increasingly attracted to reprocessing because recycled devices can cost half as much as new equipment. Only about a quarter of hospitals in the United States used at least one type of reprocessed medical device in 2002, and while the number is growing, the practice is not yet widespread, they say. Banner Health in Phoenix, they write, saved nearly $1.5 million in 12 months from reprocessing operating room supplies such as compression sleeves, open but unused devices, pulse oximeters and more.
One Hospital ONE point 2 million $$$. How many Hospitals are there in operation in the US? My god people wake up.