Waste

Latest Issue of OR Manager
July 2020

Recycling program evolves to sustain gains in waste reduction

Approximately 5.9 million tons of waste annually comes from the healthcare industry, and one-third of that waste comes directly from the OR. Each year, an increasing number of disposable products are used in the OR. To address this dilemma, an OR recycling performance improvement committee was formed at Massachusetts General…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 13, 2020
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EPA will require sterilization companies to provide data on EO emissions

Editor's Note Medtech sterilization companies were asked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide data that will help the agency craft new regulation of ethylene oxide emissions, the September 25 Medical Design & Outsourcing reports. The data will include specific sterilization facility characteristics, control devices, work practices, and costs…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 26, 2019
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Environmental considerations for reusable vs disposable isolation gowns

Editor's Note Selecting reusable isolation gowns may result in significant environmental benefits compared with disposable gowns, this study finds. This analysis of 1,000 isolation gowns in a healthcare setting (24 reusable gowns from 8 suppliers, 16 disposable gowns from 5 suppliers) found that the reusable gowns resulted in a: 28%…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 8, 2018
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ASC reaps rewards of recycling and reprocessing

What began as an employee request to reduce waste and create a “greener” workplace has resulted in an international award for TRIA Orthopedic Center, Bloomington, Minnesota. By conserving materials and energy, the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) not only reduced its environmental impact, but also saved money. The initiative started with…

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By: Paula DeJohn
April 21, 2017
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Advance preparation tends to waste many absorbable hemostatic agents

Results of a recent survey suggest that a great deal of unnecessary product waste could be avoided if OR nurses changed their approach to using absorbable hemostatic agents. The survey, administered electronically to 200 US registered nurses in late 2014, found that 62% of respondents prepared absorbable hemostatic agents before…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
March 17, 2016
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Medicare trust fund exhausted by 2030

Editor's Note A report from Medicare trustees on July 22 projects that the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2030. The report also revealed that recipients of Social Security disability benefits could face steep cuts next year. The fund it expected to run out of money in 2016. Congress…

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By: OR Manager
July 22, 2015
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Help is available for managing pharmaceutical waste safely and legally

Like all healthcare facilities, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) generate medical waste. Some of that waste is well known to be hazardous, such as blood, tissue, or used needles and syringes. Another type of waste is leftover medication, which is subject to its own regulations and disposal practices. Compliance is a…

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By: OR Manager
April 17, 2015
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Managing the costs of explanted spine hardware

During spinal surgery, it is sometimes necessary to implant and then remove, or explant, instrumentation in the same procedure. Explantation occurs when an implanted plate or spacer does not fit, or implanted screws are too loose or too short. Explanted instrumentation cannot be reused and must be discarded, adding to…

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By: OR Manager
June 7, 2012
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Greener ORs: Keys to making the business case

Perioperative staff and managers face a variety of pressures: improving processes, enhancing patient outcomes, documenting savings, meeting regulations, and more, all in a time of tighter budgets. With so much to balance, it can be difficult to consider (much less sell to upper management) the idea of greening the operating…

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By: OR Manager
May 6, 2012
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Untangling pharmaceutical waste requirements

There’s general agreement that keeping unused pharmaceuticals out of the nation’s water supply is a good idea. But figuring out how to comply with the tangle of regulations governing unused pharmaceuticals isn’t easy. How intensely your facility is involved in managing pharmaceutical waste likely depends on how active US Environmental…

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By: OR Manager
May 5, 2012
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