Author

Gifty Kwakye

Date of Award

9-24-2010

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Richard Gusberg, MD

Abstract

The study aimed to identify leading practices to promote environmentally friendly and efficient efforts in surgical healthcare. Despite widespread enthusiasm for going green in the U.S. economy, little information is available to inform the medical community on the effort. We explore safe and efficient strategies for hospitals and healthcare providers to protect the environment while delivering high-quality care. As part of the study design, we performed a systematic review of the literature using relevant Pubmed search terms and surveyed a panel of hospital managers and CEOs of healthcare organizations pursuing green initiatives. Recommendations were itemized and reviewed with each panelist for a consensus agreement. At the end, we identified forty-three published articles and obtained interview data from the 7-member expert panel. Five green recommendations for surgical practices were identified: (1) OR Waste Reduction and Segregation; (2) Environmentally Preferable Purchasing; (3) Energy Consumption Management; (4) Pharmaceutical Waste Management; (5) Reprocessing of Single Use Medical Devices. We concluded that the medical community has a large opportunity to implement green practices in surgical units. These practices can have significant benefits to both the healthcare community and the environment.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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