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.

  • Eliminating Sugar Sweetened Beverages at Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, Commerce, Michigan

    By: HHI Admin

    With the concern over obesity and chronic health conditions, hospitals are increasingly recognizing their responsibility to model healthier behavior for patients, staff and their community. Huron Valley Sinai Hospital wanted to model healthier behavior through the complete elimination of sugar sweetened beverages through engagement with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Energy Efficiency

    By: HHI Admin

    Demand Ventilation Control System installed on the OR platform, which reduced the number of air exchanges during off-hours.

  • Vanguard Health Chicago | Healthy Beverage Case Study

    By: HHI Admin

    The Vanguard Chicago Market kicked off a healthy beverage campaign, eliminating all sugar-loaded drinks in all of the Chicago based hospitals, healthcare sites, and market office in July, 2012. The sugar-loaded drinks were replaced with healthier options. By 2013, Vanguard Health Chicago will no longer serve any sugar or artificially sweetened beverages.

  • Tenet Healthcare | Leadership in Sustainability Work Group

    By: HHI Admin

    The operations of the facility presented Hahnemann with opportunities for improvement in energy and water use, chemical and hazardous materials use and waste disposal, infection control limitations, and municipal waste control. To assist in managing these opportunities, Hahnemann’s Environment of Care Committee formed the Leadership in Sustainability Work Group.

  • Leaner Energy Advocate Health Care

    By: HHI Admin

    Energy consumption at Advocate Health Care is expected to increase with added facilities, medical and office equipment, associates and patients contributing to our growing use of hospital facilities. Technology and other types of equipment are also being added to the infrastructure reflecting a further increase in overall energy needs and consumption.

  • Kaiser Permanente | Delicious, Healthy, and Energy Efficient Vending – Not an Oxymoron

    By: HHI Admin

    National Nutrition Services (NNS) has worked diligently to improve the taste, healthfulness, and environmental sustainability of Kaiser Permanente’s food offering. From on-site farmer’s markets to local, organic fruits in patient meals, NNS has used out-of-the-box strategies to deliver healthy, delicious food. Vending machines, and the afternoon craving busters they contain, are commonly a counterpoint to an organizational direction. However, in 2006 NNS saw the opportunity to work with existing vending suppliers Canteen and First Class Vending to see what ideas and innovations they had to...

  • Kaiser Permanente | Supplier Partnership to Phaseout Halogenated Flame Retardants in Medical Furniture

    By: HHI Admin

    Kaiser Permanente (KP) purchases medical furniture such as exam tables, chairs, and stools, and waiting room furniture from Midmark. In order to comply with the California technical bullletin (TB) 117, which requires a certain flame retardancy for upholstered furniture, Midmark, along with many other furniture manufacturers, utilized a group of chemicals known as halogenated flame retardants (HFR). HFRs are one of the groups of chemicals of concern that KP has been working diligently to eliminate from the products we buy (including electronic devices).

  • Kaiser Permanente | Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) – Purchasing Environmentally Responsible Computers

    By: HHI Admin

    Computers have enabled Kaiser Permanente to provide our members, patients, and physicians with real-time access to electronic medical information which has expedited and simplified delivery of care. But the manufacture, use, and disposal of computers and their electronic accessories have a global adverse impact on human and environmental health. Recognizing the benefits and problems with electronics, Kaiser Permanente was looking for a way to identify more environmentally responsible computer systems. The contract with a new computer system supplier in early 2006 included language...

  • Kaiser Permanente | DEHP Minimization in Intravenous (IV) Administration Sets – California and Hawaii Regions

    By: HHI Admin

    Kaiser Permanente continues to work in partnership with our suppliers to reduce the exposure of our patients to harmful chemicals like the plasticizer diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an industrial chemical used in products from cosmetics to PVC medical plastics, as a solvent and softener. DEHP has been shown by the U.S. FDA, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and other research organizations to have the potential to cause damage to the reproductive and developmental systems of fetuses and newborns. IV administration is a key point of exposure to DEHP. The sets are used for such purposes...

  • Less Waste: Red Bag Reduction Success at Inova Fairfax Hospital

    By: HHI Admin

    With Regulated Medical Waste removal fees five to ten times more expensive than solid waste, hospitals benefit from reducing the generation rate to 10% of total waste through improved segregation. Hospitals generating more than 10% RMW are throwing dollars in the waste stream.