Environmental improvements can save health care dollars and improve the health of patients, employees and community
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) announced today that it has joined the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a national campaign designed to lead change in the health care sector by helping hospitals adopt more sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations.
HHI works to reduce the environmental impact of hospitals by collecting and reporting data in at least one of six HHI Challenge areas: Engaged Leadership, Healthier Food, Leaner Energy, Less Waste, Safer Chemicals and Smarter Purchasing. Each individual hospital can chose any or all of the six challenge areas in which to work. There is no cost to participating hospitals, although they are required to collect and report data relevant to the areas they are working in.
“The Healthier Hospitals Initiative reflects the values that we hold as a state: taking care of people and taking care of our environment,” said President and CEO Scott Bond. “HHI brings practical, workable solutions to hospitals so that we can improve the public health of our communities.”
“We are so pleased that WSHA has agreed to help spread the word about HHI,” said Gary Cohen, president of Health Care Without Harm and founder of HHI. “Working together with WSHA, we can let hospital and health care decision-makers know that HHI is transforming health care by encouraging all hospitals to purchase more environmentally preferable supplies, serve healthier foods, use less energy, reduce waste and more.”
As a supportive member of HHI, WSHA will be educating hospitals and health care systems about HHI and inviting them to enroll in HHI. Of the 98 hospitals in Washington state, 23 are already active in HHI (see active hospitals here).
“Seattle Children’s is working with HHI on all six areas, and we’re finding that they are a tremendous resource to our staff in all areas,” said Lisa Brandenburg, acting CEO and hospital president, Seattle Children’s, and president of the WSHA Board of Trustees. “We’re seeing a reduction in energy consumption, increase in recycling, healthier foods in their cafeterias, reduced dependence on products containing harmful chemicals, and purchases of environmentally preferable products. Health care has unique challenges in some of these areas, so it’s very helpful to work with people who already bring an understanding of the work we do. It helps us find good solutions faster.”
By leveraging the influence and visibility of the health care community, positive changes will be timely and meaningful, and will have reach far beyond the health care sector. For more information about HHI visitwww.HealthierHospitals.org.
About the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
About the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector. Thirteen of the most influential U.S. health systems, comprising approximately 500 hospitals with more than $20 billion in purchasing power, worked with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), the Center for Health Design and Practice Greenhealth to create HHI as a guide for hospitals to improve sustainability in six key areas: Engaged Leadership, Healthier Foods, Leaner Energy, Less Waste, Safer Chemicals, and Smarter Purchasing. Sponsoring health systems include Advocate Health Care, Bon Secours Health System, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Gundersen Health System, Hospital Corporation of America, Inova Health System, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners HealthCare, Stanford University Medical Center, Tenet Health Systems and Vanguard Health Systems. More information is available at www.healthierhospitals.org. Follow HHI on Twitter at @HHIorg and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthierhospitalsinitiative.
About the Washington State Hospital Association
The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing community hospitals and several health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services. In 2005, WSHA launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the adoption of evidence-based protocols that have been proven to save lives. WSHA works to improve the health of the people of the state by becoming involved in all matters affecting the delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care. www.wsha.org. Follow WSHA on Twitter at @WAHospitals and on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/WAhospitals.