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“Green” Healthcare. Susan Hawkins Fayetteville Technical Community College. 4 “Green” Principles. Sustainable – can it be maintained long into the future; think long-term not short-term Reclaim or Reuse – products can be used more than once and / or for multiple purposes

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green healthcare

“Green” Healthcare

Susan Hawkins

Fayetteville Technical Community College

4 green principles
4 “Green” Principles
  • Sustainable – can it be maintained long into the future; think long-term not short-term
  • Reclaim or Reuse – products can be used more than once and / or for multiple purposes
  • Waste Reduction – creating as little waste as possible
  • Inclusive Actions - Activities that protect the environment.
why is green important
Why is “Green” Important
  • Healthier
  • Reduces Pollution
  • Decreases Dependence on Other Countries for Energy
  • Minimal effect on the environment
  • SAVES MONEY!!!!!
why is green important to health care
Why is “Green” Important to Health Care?
  • Because of their mission, Health Care Facilities often have a much larger impact than other industries
  • To ensure the availability of resources in the future, it is crucial that Health Care facilities practice “Green” wherever possible
  • Proposed legislative changes prevent large expenditures in areas not directly involved in patient care
green impact areas in health care
“Green” Impact Areas in Health Care
  • Facilities Management
  • Waste Management
  • Water Management
  • Operations Management
facilities management
Facilities Management

Zero Mercury

  • Making Medicine Mercury Free Initiative
  • Substitute Devices:
        • Thermometers – Galinstan Thermometers
        • Sphygmomanometers – Aneroid and Electric Based
        • Esophageal Dilators – Tungsten Powder in Gel
        • Electrical Switches – Mechanical and Optical Devices
facilities management1
Facilities Management

Green Building / Remodeling Practices

  • Paints – Water based
  • Sustainable Flooring – Resilient, Healthy, and from easy to harvest sources
  • Building Products – from renewable sources and ensure patient and employee safety
facilities management2
Facilities Management


  • Ensure minimal use of products
  • Products that are effective and safe for the environment
  • Reduce or eliminate Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Ensure level of disinfection is consistent with use; don’t overuse cleaners, but ensure critical areas meet required levels
facilities management3
Facilities Management

Energy Consumption

  • Use Natural Lighting
  • Auto on / off Switches
  • Only Light Areas Being Used
  • Energy Star Appliances
waste management
Waste Management

Four Types of Waste in Health Care

  • Regulated Medical Waste
  • Plastics / Recyclables
  • Sharps
  • Solid Waste
waste management1
Waste Management

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)

  • Ensure only RMW is contained in RMW containers
  • Provide general purpose containers in areas where RMW containers are
  • Ensure containers are appropriately marked
waste management2
Waste Management

Plastics / Recyclables

  • Ensure recyclables are not in other trash containers
  • Provide plenty of places for employees, patients, etc. to place plastics and other reusable materials
  • Partner with local waste management companies to recycle goods
  • Educate stakeholders about recycling and associated benefits
waste management3
Waste Management


  • Reuse sharps containers by partnering with a waste management provider that disposes of sharps without the container
  • Sharps containers made from recycled materials
  • Separate sharps from recyclable items
  • Separate sharps from solid waste
waste management4
Waste Management

Solid Waste

  • Compost food and other organic / non-infectious waste
  • Develop a comprehensive waste segregation plan to ensure solid waste does not end up as RMW
  • Purchase materials in reduced or recyclable packaging
water management1
Water Management
  • Use of Low Flow Toilets
  • Rainwater Capture Systems for Landscape Maintenance
  • Auto on / off on all sinks to shut off water when not in use
  • Appliances with Lower water needs such as High Efficiency (HE) Washers
  • Water as requested
operations management1
Operations Management
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Digitize administrative functions
  • Reusable instead of disposable
  • Employee training and retraining
  • Green Purchasing
      • Recycled Goods
      • Lower impact products
operations management2
Operations Management
  • Embed “Green” practices into every aspect of the organization
  • Make it easy for employees to participate
  • Share the rewards / benefits
  • Publicize the benefits within the organization
  • Environmental News Network
  • Green Guide
  • Green Cleaning Implementation Guide
  • Practice Greenhealth
  • Sustainable Hospitals
  • Sustainable Sandhills