Sustainable Healthcare

The healthcare, like most industries, has seen seen its electronic technologies become ICT technologies. Medical facilities are ICT facilities and much medical gear is ICT gear. That's consistent with our inclusive definition of Green ICT. Here are some industry initiatives having an impact:

The CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reported in Mar 2011, "BIDMC has achieved a PUE of 1.82... We've done cold aisle containment, floor tile ventilation, and hot air recapture to reduce our Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) needs substantially...Despite all our efforts, we are limited by the constraints of the standard commercial hardware we run and the building we use." This was a notable accomplishment three years ago because most datacenters still operate with a PUE greater than 2.0.

Healthcare mega-provider Kaiser Permanente reports that it "...requires 100 percent of new laptops, desktops and monitors to be EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Silver- or Gold-Rated products. In addition, we maintain an extensive system for responsible disposal of hazardous electronic waste. In 2012, we diverted approximately 748 tons of electronic waste [122,000 pieces of electronic equipment] from landfills through a partnership with Redemtech, an e-Stewards Certified recycler." The provider adds, "By reprocessing, selling, or recycling our used medical equipment and devices, we divert more than 300,000 pounds of waste from landfills each year."

Kaiser Permanente's sustainability efforts also benefit from the analog-digital dematerialization that impacts all tech-intensive sectors. "Many of our medical facilities use digital X-ray processing that enhances image analysis while also cutting down on large amounts of water and chemicals needed for traditional film processing."

The organization Healthcare without Harm has initiatives for medical device lifecycle and disposal issues and is a co-sponsor of a healthcare industry white paper "How to Buy Better Computers: Going Beyond EPEAT" and other Green ICT resources

EPEAT purchasing
Click on the "biomed" tag at the top of this post for more about Green ICT and healthcare.