Sector: healthcare

Posted: February 5, 2014
Source: Practice Greenhealth.Org

First-of-its-kind effort will evaluate total costs across lifecycle of health care products

(Reston, Virginia) – As part of Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the Supply Chain® Initiative, Practice Greenhealth is pleased to announce the development of a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Framework to be used by health care providers to evaluate the total cost across the lifecycle of a medical device or product from purchase and use, to end-of-life. Practice Greenhealth is bringing together hospitals, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), and businesses to develop this guidance, which will be offered at no cost to hospitals nationwide.

With tremendous pressures to reduce costs within the U.S. health care system, health care providers must look at ways to lower their purchasing costs. When it comes to purchasing medical devices, products and services, there are submerged costs, such as storage, maintenance, and disposal costs, that are not considered during procurement decisions. Therefore, they may be paying more in the long term for a product with a lower sales cost.

These costs are a part of the total cost of ownership of a product or service. Purchasing decisions should include these costs to assess the full costs to an organization. However, there is not currently a methodology in place to assist hospitals in determining their total cost of ownership of health care products and services. Providing a tool that brings these submerged costs to the surface during the procurement process could have a significant impact on reducing the total cost of delivering quality health care. Creating that tool requires a standardized method to measure or calculate these submerged environmental costs that is universally recognized. Elements of cost that address a reduction in environmental and human health impacts are also a priority to reduce health care’s environmental footprint.
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Posted: February 3, 2014
Source: The Gazette, Iowa City

Feb. 02 IOWA CITY
When a patient emerges from anesthesia after surgery, his nurse wants to make sure he doesn’t feel pain.

She gets a 1 milliliter syringe of hydromorphone, a generic form of Dilaudid, from a secure drug cabinet. She plans to give her patient .2 milliliter. Even patients with open hysterectomies some of the most painful procedures need just .4 milliliter.

She squirts the rest of the drug down the drain, where it can’t be abused by addicts but can pollute drinking water.

UI nurses disposed of an average 70 percent of each of 47,000 hydromorphone 1 milliliter syringes with waste in fiscal 2013.

Portions of nearly 250,000 doses of prescription medication were flushed down the drain or returned to the UI Hospitals and Clinics pharmacy to be wasted in the past two years, despite U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines against flushing drugs.
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