Whether you’re a doctor or surgeon working in an operating room or a patient who has scheduled surgery, one of the last things that may be on your mind is if you’re being eco-friendly in the operating room. When it comes to medical issues and surgery, thinking of the environment sits on the backburner –– usually.
However, it’s time to take our environmental impact when in the operating room into consideration. Hospitals in the United States, according to Greening Health Care: How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet, produce 2.3 million tons of waste every year. As an employee or patient, it’s your responsibility to see what you can do to help your hospitals and operating rooms go green.
1. Reusable Medical Supplies
Due to sanitary procedures, hospitals utilize one-time-use products and supplies such as paper gowns and bibs. While there are definitely some medical supplies, such as needles, that should absolutely only be used once, there are some that can be washed, sanitized, and reused.
Instead of providing patients with paper gowns, use cloth gowns. When the patient is discharged, simply wash the gowns thoroughly. Then they can be used for the next patient.
2. Implement Sustainable Supplies
It’s amazing just how much plastic comes in and out of the operating room. When possible, avoid using plastic supplies and opt for something made of sustainable material. For example, if a patient comes in with a broken pinky toe, use tape to stabilize it instead of a plastic splint.
We understand that not everything in the operating room can be made of sustainable material, but it can create a big impact on the environment if they’re used when possible.
3. Paperless Billing
Paper may as well be a thing of the past now that we have easy access to computers and smartphones. Instead of receiving your bills or medical records in the mail, hospitals can switch to online billing. This also provides ease of access to any medical records or payment history for patients and cuts down on wait times.
As a patient, ask your hospital if you can opt-in for paperless billing. You may be given the choice in the very beginning, but if not, don’t hesitate to ask! Your request may just be the one that pushes your hospital to make it a point to give patients this option.
4. Same Day Surgery
We understand that many surgeries are required and don’t leave you much choice as to when or how they happen. However, if you do have any choice in the matter, try to go for same day surgery. When you can leave the hospital or surgery center the same day you came in, this cuts down on the hospital’s electricity usage and carbon footprint.
There are many surgery centers, such as northwestsurgerycenter.com, that specialize in same day surgeries. These centers take great care of their patients while making sure they’re ready to spend the night in the comfort of their own home.
Going Green in the Operating Room
As a patient, you can make sure that you are being environmentally friendly when having surgery. Whether you opt for paperless billing or same day surgery, your choices can make a positive impact on the environment.
Article Submitted By Community Writer