Sustainability for Successful Healthcare Management

Traditionally, when we hear the word “sustainability,” it conjures up ideas of the health of the environment and the idea of “going green.” And that is clearly a very large part of the sustainability movement, but the concept of sustainability extends further.

MedSpeed is a member of Practice Greenhealth, a not-for profit organization whose mission is to be “the source for environmental solutions for the healthcare sector that lends support to create better, safer, greener workplaces and communities.” Earlier this year, Laura Wenger, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth wrote, “Sustainability isn’t just about environmental stewardship. As the [health] sector faces increased financial pressures, more hospitals and health care facilities should prioritize sustainability as a way to strategically manage rising costs.”

What that means to those of us in healthcare is that as reimbursements decline and the costs of goods rise, the entire industry is forced to reject the status quo and look for innovative ways to manage costs. If healthcare leaders can think more broadly about sustainability the impact will be greater. Those leaders should explore overlooked ways to help them operate more responsibly, in order to improve the bottom line as well as being good stewards of the earth.

An article I wrote that was recently published in Greenhealth Magazine, “Sustainable Road“, explores one such area: physical integration. Using the physical connecting points throughout a health network (outpatient centers, hospitals, physician offices, labs) can streamline and integrate operations as well as providing operational efficiencies—not to mention greater sustainability.

Physical integration can help health systems meet traditionally noted sustainability goals and it can also help manage rising costs and improve the bottom line: ultimately saving green by being green.

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