Every single hospital has something “green” going on. Even when a hospital reports that they haven’t done too much, an assessment demonstrates green pockets of activity – OR nurses collecting unused medical supplies, toner cartridge collection for recycling or education around healthier foods. Healthcare workers care for people and by extension, they care for the planet.
Nurses, quality improvement experts, sustainability coordinators, environmental services managers, facility managers, ethicists, doctors, community health leaders and support services heads (to name a few!) have been making progress – little by little – but many are still unable to “make the case” for their facility.
When it’s good – it’s VERY good
When leadership is onboard, programming is pulled together and integrated into strategic planning and facility operations. A coordinated sustainability program impacts new construction and renovations, landscaping, food services, cleaning, purchasing supplies and staff commuting – just every decision made. Leaders in health care sustainability report that an unexpected outcome of sustainability activity is worker engagement. The staff values a healthy and safe environment and increasingly, medical students seek out institutions that are in line with their personal commitment to sustainability and the triple bottom line.
When it’s tough – it’s tough.
“The eleven sponsoring health systems have embarked on this journey and are sharing successes, strategies and creative solutions to address today’s environmental challenges. We urge every hospital – large or small, urban or rural – to be part of HHI and the groundswell response that will move healthcare towards a healthier future.”
John Messervy, AIA Director of Capital & Facility Planning, Partners HealthCare, Boston, MA
Maturing programs document financial and environmental benefit – value to workers, to patients, to communities and the future. But why is it hard to convince some hospitals to get involved? Why do safer materials sometimes cost more? Why is it hard to avoid chemicals in new furniture and fabrics? Why do programs often fall apart if the champion leaves the organization?
Participation in HHI will leverage purchasing to send a strong message to the marketplace, that there is a demand for safer materials. The eleven sponsoring health systems represent more than 490 facilities with over 99,850 number of beds. Every enrolled hospital will add to the voice, to the data, to the stories, messaging the impact on quality, on safety, on healthy communities, on the future.
Join the Initiative -
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative carefully crafted six specific, measurable challenges that are the intersection of important and achievable. The Healthier Hospital Initiative’s proven interventions will demonstrate value for individual facilities – that’s exciting – but there’s more. Through a partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, submitted data will be aggregated to report out the impact of the collective efforts. Enrolled hospitals will be part of a massive demonstration project with the shared goal of healthier communities. Hospitals are often the largest employer in a community and HHI will highlight the sector as leaders in a healthier future, further positioning health care as anchors in their communities.
Each challenge offers how-to guides, forums, case studies and a mentor program to implement programs that stick – programs that endure constant change and become part of the DNA of the organization. Enrollees will network with hospitals and systems that have already had success and be part of a collaborative environment, rich with conversation, perspectives and practical guidance.
Health Care Without Harm’s Research Collaborative will share the financial and environmental data and the stories that accompany the initiative – a story of commitment, of quality and of transformation. Be part of it – be part of something big – a collective voice about leading to a healthier future.
Be part of the groundswell, where doing the right thing and doing the smart thing and doing the healthy thing are one and the same!