August 24, 2012
Bronson Battle Creek is the recipient of the Sterilmed 2011 Environmental Excellence Award for the hospital’s medical device reprocessing recycling program.
Sterilmed, a Minnesota-based healthcare cost-containment company and leading re-processor of single-use medical devices, honors top organizations and systems throughout the country-- BBC has been recognized as a ‘Best Practice’ facility for its superior accomplishments in reducing environmental impact and improving overall healthcare sustainability through medical device recycling. In 2011, the hospital’s efforts diverted higher than average medical waste from landfills.
“Reprocessing and recycling medical devices have become essential components of sustainability programs in the healthcare community,” said Denise Brooks-Williams, BBC president and CEO. “Reprocessing is proven to not only decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills, but also to reduce the cost of providing safe and effective medical devices for our patients’ procedures.”
“We are delighted to distinguish Bronson Battle Creek with an Environmental Excellence Award and congratulate them for their commitment to both financial sustainability and medical waste reduction in the community,” said Mike Gustafson, worldwide president of Sterilmed. “BBC is steadfast in its reprocessing program and should be proud of the strides they’ve made in protecting the environment.”
Sterilmed partners with healthcare providers like BBC to offer services designed to lower their medical device and equipment costs, thus maximizing the life of single-use medical devices while maintaining the highest levels of patient safety.
Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms. It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI. Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include the county’s largest accredited sleep center and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
More and more, we hear people talking about 'going green.' Bronson Battle Creek is doing more than discussing it; it is taking dramatic steps to reduce its carbon footprint. For example:
- BBC recycles more than 113 tons of cardboard annually.
- Our re-usable micro-fiber mop heads save over 75,000 gallons of water.
- We recycle 100% of our frying oil (which goes to local farms for use in tractors and machinery).
- Speaking of fats, we have successfully and voluntarily eliminated industrial trans fats from our food service programs.
- We have eliminated 95% of the disposables from our patient meal system.
- We are looking at using a composting system, advanced paper recycling program, a rainwater collection system, and a new chilling tower to reduce water usage by several million more gallons annually.
- The American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) recognized us for our efforts in reducing energy consumption. We are one of only ten hospitals in the United States to receive this honor and the only one in Michigan.
- We've reduced the use of caustic chemicals used in deep cleaning by 80%.
Those changes have netted a savings in the past eight months of 1.1 million gallons of water, 4 million kWh of energy, and 455 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In more simple terms, not only has Bronson Battle Creek eliminated 296 cubic yards of materials from landfills and saved 2,641 trees, but its efforts are also saving the consumer 'green' on your medical costs at BBC!
That's a good start, but we have a lot more work ahead of us. We must all remember that being green is not just saying the river is dirty, but being the ones who clean it up.