Heart of a Lion, Hands of a Woman: What Women Neurosurgeons Do
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Green Hospitals: Too Much Trash

Finally some early signs that making hospitals more environmentally friendly is no longer "fringe business."  Recently, the NY Times highlighted the challenges facing American hospitals in reducing the enormous amount of waste.  As any surgeon knows well, the operating room is fraught with disposable items where re-usables were standard a decade ago.  In addition, many items that have not been used at all just get tossed!  As the article points out, much of this has been done in the name of patient safety-with the unmerited fear of reprocessing.  In addition to the shear volume of trash, medical waste is three times as expensive as regular refuse to process.  In an era when we recycle so much (think plastic containers into decking), healthcare lags way behind.
There are some people who are looking to turn this trend around.  For physicians, nurses, architects, health care workers or interested patients can join the Green Hospital Movement and access many educational materials and learn how you an make a difference in your own community.  Another good resource for healthcare professionals is Teleosis.
Isn't it time we all got onboard?

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