As healthcare providers search for ways to control costs, 11 health systems have come forward to say they can do it by adopting more environmentally friendly practices—and they're eager for others to join them.
Together with three environmental policy-related, nongovernmental organizations—Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and the Center for Health Design—the participating systems make up the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, which aims to improve environmental health and sustainability in healthcare.
The systems, which together have more than 500 hospitals and a combined purchasing power of about $20 billion, joined with the organizations to create a resource for hospitals to reduce energy use and waste; choose safer and less toxic products; and serve healthier foods at their facilities. The initiative aims to enroll at least 2,000 hospitals in 50 states and Washington, D.C., to implement sustainable operations over the next three years. And to measure its progress, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative will work with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to gather data on both the financial and environmental effects of the sustainability programs.