Reprocessing Highlighted as a Key Strategy for Greening the OR at Healthcare Symposium

Ascent, a leader in delivering healthcare resource sustainability, announces its sponsorship of a new initiative from Practice Greenhealth. The “Symposium for Greening the OR,” taking place April 27, 2010 in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the first phase of the initiative and will gather a select group of thought leaders from throughout the healthcare industry to discuss strategies for waste reduction and cost savings in operating rooms across the country. The reprocessing of single use medical devices will be at the top of the agenda.

The symposium comes at a time when medical device reprocessing and re-manufacturing is gaining significant attention as a way for hospitals to reduce waste and cut costs. A commentary from Johns Hopkins in the March issue of Academic Medicine recommends reprocessing, noting that approximately 25 percent of hospitals are already using reprocessing as a means for curbing costs while reducing their environmental footprint.

“Interest in and use of remanufactured devices among hospitals has grown very rapidly over the past few years, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Rick Ferreira, president of Ascent. “Increased adoption of reprocessing could bring even more significant savings to the healthcare system, while at the same time lower the industry’s environmental footprint. We’re looking forward to talking with hospital leaders about best practices that can be used as case studies for other hospitals. This symposium is, in part, about bringing together top industry thought leaders that will help develop the next-generation of responsible medical device strategies for the OR.”

The OR is the largest waste-generating department in the hospital and a huge cost-center for materials, devices and supplies. At the symposium, representatives from major hospital systems and individual hospitals, professional organizations and government agencies will not only identify opportunities for greening the OR, but will also outline implementation strategies and suggestions for overcoming barriers. They will discuss ratings systems to help leaders make decisions regarding investment, ROI, worker health and safety benefits, and the level of staff participation required for success.

Along with reprocessing, other symposium topics include: fluid waste management systems, energy use in lighting and thermal comfort, waste anesthetic gas scavenging systems, laser safety and smoke evacuation, and green cleaning in a surgical setting. As an outcome of the symposium, Practice Greenhealth intends to capture strategies, case studies and research in a best practices guidance document for the industry.

A pioneer in healthcare sustainability, Ascent brings its hospital partners the latest device innovations and value-added services that enable hospitals to reduce unnecessary costs, reduce their impact on the environment and, most importantly, improve their focus on overall patient care quality.