Green Printing and Sustainability for Healthcare

It’s easy to put sustainability aside when dealing with ill patients, overworked doctors, and life-threatening situations. But healthcare providers need to implement environmentally friendly processes even more than other organizations.

Reducing administrative costs and improving the efficiency of healthcare processes is crucial to guaranteeing the highest possible quality of care. The practical upshot of green printing practices for healthcare is that they also improve the cost-effectiveness of document-related processes.

Establishing sustainability in the healthcare environment means evaluating your current systems and implementing new measures that reflect efficiency-oriented budget planning. When it comes to healthcare, adopting new measures requires knowing that the new systems are both reliable and resilient.

Sustainability for Healthcare – Green Printing, Recycling, and Disposal

Establishing sustainability in your healthcare clinic or hospital requires making changes to various elements of your infrastructure. Not only are there material aspects that require attention, but also elements of your approach to human resources.

1. Establish a Green Team

Green printing can only happen as a result of a sustained, long-term initiative. Establishing a leadership team is critical to ensuring this happens successfully. Your green team will need to be empowered to look through a wide variety of tasks and processes and identify opportunities to reduce inefficiency in your systems.

But simply establishing a team won’t produce results. Your green team needs to hold itself accountable to executive leadership for achieving specific goals. Green printing is a good example of a primary priority for your team – reducing reliance on wasteful paper processes and identifying ways to reduce print fleet usage.

2. Reprocess Medical Devices

Hospitals and healthcare clinics need to dispose of potentially biologically hazardous items – used surgical gowns and towels are a prime example. However, many hospitals discard medical devices that are never used alongside the ones that are used.

The reason why this is the case is rooted in bureaucracy. Most healthcare professionals simply find it easier and less time-consuming to throw perfectly good materials away. Otherwise, they have to hold themselves accountable for the proper reprocessing and sterilization of the medical devices in question.

Your green team can make this a more painless task by appointing specific individuals to medical device reprocessing tasks and generating clear processes. When doctors and nurses find it easy to participate in green initiatives, they are more likely to engage.

3. Streamline Printing and Document Management

If every doctor or nurse in your healthcare organization is fully empowered to make print decisions without being held accountable, your print and consumable costs will soar. Not only that, but you will find yourself struggling to maintain compliance as sensitive patient information is made readily available in physical documents for anyone to see.

Streamlining the printing process can reduce costs and improve the environmental sustainability of your organization. Multifunction devices can serve as all-in-one workstations for the generation of digital documents that consume less materials, use less energy, and get more done than your current print fleet is capable of.

4. Reselling Capital Assets

An environmentally conscious hospital looks for ways to improve every process that generates waste.

The disposal of capital equipment is a prime issue. Whenever your healthcare organization procures new equipment, your green team has to decide what to do with the obsolete equipment being replaced.

Instead of disposing of the equipment, third-party resellers can make those items available in areas that don’t benefit from access to the latest and most sophisticated devices in the industry. This allows hospitals to generate revenue while reducing waste and helping other organizations deliver higher quality care than they could otherwise afford.

5. Pursuing LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification can be helpful when it comes to controlling costs and consumption in key areas of your municipal infrastructure. LEED certification applies to buildings, where it addresses operating costs and energy conservation. If you can get your building LEED certified, you can qualify for additional money-saving incentives.

Many of the LEED standards are architectural in nature. For instance, the standards encourage the use of natural light instead of artificial lighting. If your healthcare clinic can reasonably expect to accommodate these guidelines in a cost-efficient manner, doing so can drastically improve your sustainability initiatives.

6. Document Destruction Services

Taking control of the way hospital employees destroy documents is key to achieving best-in-class sustainability.

Green printing only covers half of the story when it comes to preventing the unnecessary use of natural resources. Document destruction vendors who can collect documents, shred them, and recycle the remains in a secure manner can significantly boost your environmental profile.

Implement Managed Services for Healthcare

Managed print services and managed document solutions can help take the pressure of your environmental leadership team.

By outsourcing your print and document processes to environmentally-oriented third-party vendors, you can ensure your environmental initiatives are put into practice and that they generate value for healthcare administrators, stakeholders, and patients alike.

It’s time for your healthcare organization to establish environmentally friendly workflows. Have one of our experts assess your sustainability program