10/29/2010 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Camfil Farr // Lynne Laake
Just five months after its launch, the “Greening the OR Initiative” has been adopted by more than 55 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States including air filtration and other methodology. The success of the program — intended to reduce waste in operating rooms — shows the increasing recognition that going green, whether by reducing waste, cutting carbon emissions, or using more efficient products like hospital air filters that require less energy, pays off. Patient care improves, the environment benefits, and expenses can be cut dramatically.
“Greening the OR” was announced by Practice Greenhealth at this year’s CleanMed conference. Since then, it has attracted hospitals and medical centers across the country, including 40 facilities in the Catholic Healthcare West system in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Noted institutions including New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center are also participating.
The effort to reduce waste in operating rooms is significant. For one thing, OR waste is often vast. Indeed, a hospital’s operating rooms typically generate 20 to 30 percent of its total waste of the entire facility. And disposing of that waste is particularly expensive, as the majority of it is handled as regulated medical waste, whose disposal costs are 10 to 15 times that of regular waste.
But it is important to note that sustainability efforts — and their benefits — are reaching far beyond the OR at leading hospitals. Embracing products designed from the ground up to use less energy and produce less waste is already paying dividends. Hospitals using Camfil Farr air filtration systems, for example, are finding that not only can they reduce their HVAC energy costs by 25 to 50 percent, but because Camfil filters need to be replaced less often than traditional hospital air filters, waste — and the associated disposal costs — are reduced, as well.
Camfil Farr’s air filters can provide these benefits because sustainability was a goal right from the drawing board. Incorporating an innovative design — using fine fiber media — the air filters operate at optimal efficiency throughout their service life, unlike traditional filters that degrade over time and also require more and more energy to push air through. The novel design also means that harmful particles are more effectively kept out of hospital air — no small benefit in a healthcare environment, where the risk of infection must be minimized. The end result: patients get better care, expenses are saved and less waste and emissions are added to the environment.
It’s easy to see, then, why so many hospitals have embraced sustainability. And this is just the beginning. As the benefits become more widely known, expect to see many more take their first steps to a greener, more healthful future.
The world leader in air filtration systems and clean air solutions — for health care and other industries — Camfil Farr provides the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections; all while lowering total cost of ownership. We’ve helped hospitals, office buildings, hotels, and other facilities go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information on air filtration and hospital sustainability, visit our newsroom at http://breakingnews.green-air-filters.com, read about the Clean Air Solutions Company at http://green-air-filters.com, or call us at (toll free) 888.599.6620
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