Case Studies

The case studies in this section provide visibility into how and where sustainability fits within the modern health care organization. They have been developed as a practical resource to help guide the development and implementation of a successful sustainability program, particularly as it relates to the HH Challenge areas.

Focusing more on the sustainability journey itself rather than the end-result of such efforts, these studies aim to help health care organizations understand the issues, strategies and challenges they may face along the path to sustainability. They provide key insights and lessons learned from organizations that have already been there.

  • Waste Reduction Strides at Two Critical Access Hospitals

    By: Kevin Conway

    Critical access hospitals such as the 6-bed Vidant Bertie and the 49-bed Vidant Chowan can make significant improvements in waste reduction despite the relatively small volumes of waste they generate. By installing a recycling dumpster at Bertie and compactors at Chowan, EVS Manager Lizbeth White has seen a 34 percent decrease in cost of solid waste removal at one hospital and 63 percent volume reduction at another. Key waste reduction programs include replacing desk-side trash cans with recycling bins, 96 percent polystyrene elimination, and recycling 67 percent of operating room(OR)...

  • ThedaCare Health System: Server Room Optimization

    By: HHI Admin

    Health care information systems are increasingly hungry for memory on servers which greatly increases cost of equipment, energy to run equipment, and infrastructure to support this increase. The solution is Virtualization which offers organizations the ability to run multiple applications on a single server.

  • Bon Secours Charity Health System

    By: HHI Admin

    Disposing of regulated medical waste safely and efficiently is a major concern for any medical facility. Our Charity Health System serves more than half a million people in a seven-county area of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, generating enormous amounts of waste. At the same time, Bon Secours Health System prides itself on being a leader in providing high quality, cost-effective health care with a strong commitment to environmental and employee welfare.

  • St. Vincent Medical Center North - Leaner Energy Initiative

    By: Kevin Conway

    Catholic Health Initiatives is committed to environmental stewardship, and has been engaged in green efforts since its inception, 16 years ago. Reducing energy consumption has been a focus of CHI’s efforts, and CHI has been actively partnering with Practice Greenhealth and Energy Star since 2004 to improve energy efficiency. Many of the CHI facilities are aging, which challenges this goal, so CHI looks to retrofit systems where and when it can, especially seeking projects that have a 24-month payback. All new CHI facilities are built with energy cost and consumption in mind to maximize...

  • Incorporating Sustainable Principles into New Hospital Design

    By: HHI Admin

    In 2011, Gundersen Health System broke ground on a 425,000 sq. ft. hospital building that will serve people in a 19-county, 3-state service area. Those involved with the project were challenged with designing and constructing a building that used sustainable principles to limit the building's overall impact on the environment, both during construction and once the building is open.

  • Dignity Health | Reprocessing Single Use Devices

    By: HHI Admin

    Reprocessing single-use devices (SUDs) allows Dignity Health to better utilize limited resources. In FY2013, Dignity Health saved over $8 million and eliminated more than 271,000 pounds of medical waste by reprocessing SUDs. Over the last four years, Dignity Health has saved more than $27 million and eliminated more than 872,000 pounds of medical waste from our nation’s landfills.

  • Partners HealthCare and Roxbury Technology Toner Recycling Program

    By: HHI Admin

    Partners HealthCare uses thousands of imaging products (ink and toner cartridges) for printing, copying, and faxing. Ink and toner cartridges, when not recycled usually end up in landfills. As part of its sustainability and Patient Affordability program, Partner’s sought to grow a closed loop manufacturing process in partnership with Roxbury Technology and to prevent cartridges from ending up in landfills.

  • Kaiser Permanente | LEED Saves Energy, Water and Money

    By: HHI Admin

    Kaiser Permanente had long pursued green building strategies for construction and renovation of hospitals and medical offices, including construction waste recycling, healthy building materials, and energy conservation. However, there was a general perception that LEED was too expensive, and would delay schedules. Learn how Kaiser Permanente overcame this challenges.

  • Inova Health | Buy Fresh, Buy Local: Sourcing Fruits and Vegetables

    By: HHI Admin

    Inova supports sustainable foods within the community through its innovative Double Dollars program, which supplements the use of SNAP benefits at local farmers’ markets and provides incentives for food stamp recipients to purchase fresh, nutritious, sustainable foods. The program allows consumers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that otherwise may have been cost-prohibitive by doubling the first $10 in SNAP benefits that are spent at the market.

  • HHI Releases 2012 Milestone Report

    By: HHI Admin

    In the first-ever Healthier Hospitals Initiative 2012 Milestone Report released today, 370 HHI-member hospitals indicate that they have reduced their environmental footprint, lowered costs and improved patient health by incorporating sustainability initiatives into their business models. The data in the