Environmental sustainability is no longer a “maybe” for hospital systems; it’s a must. Not only is it better for the bottom line, but communities expect it, and it’s simply the right thing to do.
“It’s really about much more than savings,” says Zoë Beck, Sustainability Manager at HealthTrust. “It’s about doing the right thing for patients, hospital staff, the surrounding community and, ultimately, the environment.”
Hospitals and care systems that pursue sustainability initiatives find benefits in multiple areas. Their efforts contribute to a healthier environment, improve the organization’s public perception and can help their local communities. Environmental sustainability is also good business, as it helps lower operational costs and allows hospitals to direct more resources to patient care.
– Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence. Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals:
The Value of Efficiency, 2014
The need for green
While a healthcare facility is supposed to be a place of healing and restoration, it also contributes to chemical exposure and other environmental impacts through the processes of cleaning and disinfecting, through emissions and in the disposal of waste. This is why the healthcare sector is increasingly concerned with sustainability issues.
“HealthTrust’s goal has always been to support the sustainability initiatives of our members by effectively incorporating the principles of environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) into the contracting process,” says Cathy Florek, Vice President of HealthTrust’s Supply Chain Board & GPO Sourcing Operations.
EPP involves actively contracting for and purchasing products or services whose environmental impacts have been considered and found to be less damaging to the environment and human health when compared to market competitors.
Florek adds, “For years, however, a lack of agreed-upon standards within the healthcare industry made capturing sustainability information about products extremely difficult. HealthTrust has long sought a solution to provide members with relevant sustainability attributes about the products it has on contract so they can make informed purchasing decisions.”
A software solution
Enter new software partner, MindClick. This environmental health product intelligence solution gathers decades of environmental health information at the product level from industry suppliers and turns it into actionable information members can use to help make sustainable purchasing decisions.
Beck explains, “MindClick rates how a product fares in terms of environmental health attributes compared to other products in its category and benchmarks how suppliers compare to one another.” This will assist members and facility “green teams” in making better-informed purchasing decisions and in tracking their progress toward meeting sustainability goals.
“Supplier partners are a critical stakeholder in EPP,” Florek adds. “Their participation with MindClick will assist HealthTrust members in knowing more about their products and their company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. EPP will be an important factor considered in contract award decisions made by the HealthTrust advisory boards.”
Customizing the tool to many of HealthTrust’s contracted suppliers is underway. Plans are to roll out MindClick in late 2019/early 2020. Watch The Response newsletter or the Sustainability section of the HealthTrust Member Portal for information on upcoming webinars to receive training on how to use the tool.
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