Healing the Earth: How Clinics and Practices Can Go Green

April 8, 2016
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Going green is not just environmentally responsible, it can provide some health benefits to your staff and patients. The following are some ways you can make your practice a bit greener—while saving money in the process.

Go Paperless

Going green is not just environmentally responsible, it can provide some health benefits to your staff and patients. The following are some ways you can make your practice a bit greener—while saving money in the process.

Go Paperless

In the past, medical practices had no choice but to use a great deal of paper for medical records, faxes, correspondence and so on. These days, there are paperless options for every single one of those. Some patients may still want or need paper copies at times, but it is increasingly possible to simply eliminate a lot of the actual paper involved in so-called paperwork. You can even subscribe to electronic versions of medical coding books and order medical supplies online rather than via fax.

Find Safe Alternatives to Disposables

Medical practices tend to generate a lot of trash because they use disposable items for purposes of germ control. However, it is possible to use safer products, such as glass and copper items, plus good sterilization procedures to reduce the number of disposable items you go through without undermining the goal of keeping everyone safe from infection. Studies have confirmed that copper surfaces kill germs and reduce transmission of infection in medical settings.

Go With Green Cleaning Supplies

Because cleanliness plays an important role in germ control, a medical practice has to make cleanliness a top priority. While you cannot cut back on how frequently you clean, you can choose eco-friendly cleaning products purchased from a company that practices sustainability. Such products are not only good for the earth, they are typically easier on the health of humans. Harsh chemical cleaners can have unintended, negative impacts on human health. It makes no sense for a medical practice to expose patients to potentially harmful chemicals.

Reuse

Many items used in any clinic, like exam gloves and disposable testing equipment, are never reusable. This doesn’t mean your practice can’t find other reusable things. Office equipment can be repurposed instead of thrown away, and the breakroom can be stocked with real dishes, rather than paper ones, to encourage responsible reuse. While these steps can be beneficial, you don’t have to limit your greening efforts to non-medical items. A medical imaging specialist enrolled in radiology schools online says buying gently-used medical imaging equipment, as opposed to new machines, can reduce your institution’s carbon footprint. When you find ways to reduce and reuse, both your clinic and the environment can benefit.

With the global human population at record levels, eco-friendly trends are here to stay. It is the only way to make sure there are enough resources in the world for everyone. On the upside, greening your practice allows you to save money and reduce emissions without sacrificing patient care.