Healthier Hospitals Initiative Supports Groundbreaking New Environmental Questions for Health Care

Five Major Group Purchasing Organizations to Ask Vendors and Suppliers about Chemical Makeup, Sustainability of Products Sold to Health Care Sector

(Herndon, VA)   The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is pleased to learn of the Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products, a collaborative of Practice Greenhealth and five major Group Purchases Organizations (GPO) representing over $135 billion in annual purchasing volume, which sets forth standard questions on chemical makeup and sustainability of products offered to the health care sector.  The questions will help hospitals find alternative products to help reduce their environmental footprint and find safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals.

“This collaboration between Practice Greenhealth and the GPO’s is just the type of sector-driven push that is needed to help change the marketplace to make more sustainable products available,” said John Messervy, AIA, Director of Capital  & Facility Planning, Partners Healthcare Boston, MA , chair of HHI.

The supporting GPOs involved in the development of the questionnaire are Amerinet, Inc.; HealthTrust Purchasing Group; MedAssets, Inc.; and Novation LLC., and Premier, Inc.  Kaiser Permanente, an HHI sponsor, participated in the formation of the questionnaire by sharing some questions the system already uses to help vendors supply more sustainable products.

“One of the tenets of sponsoring the Healthier Hospitals Initiative is to share learnings on sustainability issues with other health care systems,” stated Kathy Gerwig, Vice-President for Workplace Safety and Environmental Stewardship Officer, Kaiser Permanente.  “We were pleased to work with Practice Greenhealth and to share the success of our own Sustainability Scorecard in use at Kaiser Permanente.” 

“HHI congratulates Practice Greenhealth for its leadership in helping bring these five GPOs together to develop these questions and to show their commitment to sustainability,” stated Messervy.  “ Better communication about emerging issues between purchaser and suppliers  will not only benefit the health care sector, but ultimately positively impact the broader supply chain.  We encourage commitment to sustainability at this level not just in the health care community, but in all the sectors of the economy.” 

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative was created in 2010 by Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and the Center for Health Design to help hospitals use their collective sustainability experience, purchasing power and industry representation to speed the process of greening the health care sector. Sponsors of HHI include Advocate Health Care, Bon Secours Health System , Catholic Healthcare West, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA, Inc.), Inova Health System, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners Healthcare and Vanguard Health Systems.

Learn more about the Healthier Hospitals Initiative at www.healthierhospitals.org.

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