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Healthcare and Green Living: How is Technology Helping?

Meghan Belnap

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Most doctors know a patient's environment can have an impact on their recovery time. Health problems can worsen when a patient breathes in toxic fumes from paint and cleaning products. In response to this problem, many hospitals are now using environmentally friendly paint and cleaning supplies. Many hospitals are taking things a step further by implementing environmentally friendly technology and cleaning methods. Here are a few ways technology is helping hospitals become environmentally friendly.

Waste Management

All hospitals are required to shred sensitive documents. In addition to shredding and recycling documents, some hospitals have purchased a cardboard baler to dispose of their boxes. Recycling boxes crushed in a cardboard baler can save thousands of trees. Some healthcare facilities have also increased the amount of recycling bins designated for cans and plastic bottles.

Reducing Energy Everywhere

You have probably noticed large fans outside some hospitals. Those huge fans use an excessive amount of electricity. They require a large amount of energy to heat and cool the hospital. Many healthcare facilities have eliminated this problem by installing a ductless filtering hood.

Clean and Safe Tools

Several hospitals use dry ice blasting to clean instruments and surfaces. Dry ice blasting cleans using compressed air and can literally remove the bacteria from the instruments. Surfaces and instruments, like a coronary stent, are cleaned without abrasive substances but still involve hydro pressure as they are a little more intricate. This environmentally friendly cleaning method prevents harmful fungus and germs from growing on tools and surfaces. It also eliminates odors caused by bacteria that can make hospital visits horrible. These cleaning technique are approved by the USDA and are very green and eco-friendly.

LED Lights

Lighting is very important in any healthcare facility, and most modern hospitals use LED lights. In addition to reducing the electric bill, they help surgeons see better in the operating room. Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff need bright lights to read charts and attend to patients.

Laboratory Cooling Systems

In addition to keeping the healthcare facility at a comfortable temperature, cooling systems are needed to maintain the temperature in hospital labs. Hospitals built decades ago used inefficient cooling equipment. Now, hospitals can use automated software to regulate the temperature in rooms that need to be kept cold.

Eco-friendly solutions benefit patients and hospital staff. These solutions also improve air and water quality in the general population. Reducing waste and implementing cleaner waste management policies protects local and surrounding communities. Several healthcare facilities have also realized the economic benefit of implementing these changes. These changes increase profits while providing a higher standard of care for patients.


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