Hospitals could save billions of dollars and tons of waste by reusing medical equipment, analysis shows.
- U.S. hospitals generate over four billion pounds of waste each year.
- Many types of medical equipment can be reused, from oxygen sensors to elastic bandages.
- Reusing equipment could reduce waste and save billions annually, research shows.
But much of this waste could be avoided, according to a new study, by cleaning, testing and re-sterilizing many types of medical equipment after first use, including elastic bandages, finger oxygen sensors and tourniquet cuffs "We estimate that reprocessing of open-but-never-used supplies alone can account for a one-billion-dollar savings in a system, not to mention the instruments that are used and are in perfect condition that can be reprocessed as well," he said. "There are billions of dollars of savings."
Certain health-care systems have already experienced over $1 million in savings over a single year, he said, by buying reprocessed equipment from companies approved by the FDA to collect items labeled by their original manufacturers as "single-use" and clean, test and resterilize them.