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June 21, 2024

Embrace Sustainable Supply Chain Practices for Environmental and Financial Health

In a world increasingly conscious of climate change and its impacts, health care organizations are stepping up to address their environmental footprint.

“About 10% of the carbon emissions generated in the U.S. come from health care, and roughly 80% of that is related to supply chain,” says Dr. Chung. “There is a tremendous opportunity to improve procurement practices, especially in the way they impact the environment and health of patients.”

The benefits extend beyond ecological stewardship, encompassing financial savings and even patient satisfaction.

In an article with NEJM Catalyst, Jimmy Chung, MD, MBA, chief medical officer at Advantus Health Partners, stresses the significance of sustainable procurement practices.

Reduce Waste by Reprocessing and Reusing

As a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Chung was deeply affected by the substantial waste generated in operating rooms. This experience sparked his interest in supply chain, eventually propelling him into a role dedicated to devising strategies aimed at reducing waste and enhancing sustainability.

By reusing and reprocessing single-use items, health care organizations can mitigate their environmental impact while realizing considerable cost savings. Studies show that reprocessed products often exceed the quality of new ones, debunking misconceptions and further incentivizing sustainable practices.

Dr. Chung believes it is critical that provider organizations offer sustainability programs because of the emissions and waste they produce.

Create More Sustainable Supply Chain Practices at Your Health System

These insights emphasis the multifaceted benefits of environmental sustainability efforts in health care. From financial savings to patient care, embracing sustainability is not just a responsibility, but a strategic imperative for modern health care organizations.

As we navigate toward a more sustainable future, collaboration and innovation will be key in driving lasting change and realizing the full potential of sustainability in health care delivery.

Ready to make a difference in health care sustainability? Read the full article in NEJM Catalyst.

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