10 ways hospitals achieve resiliency

|

The nonprofit organization, Practice Greenhealth, champions best practices for hospital environmental stewardship. On May 9th, it presented Circles of Excellence Awards to member healthcare organizations that excelled in specific categories of sustainability while achieving all-around sustainability.

At the 2018 event, these distinct facets of healthcare sustainability circles were recognized:

Chemicals

In the Chemicals Circle, member hospitals addressed toxicity through use reduction, solid purchasing practices, and by having the appropriate equipment. Honorees also provided hazardous chemical education to their staff and communities.

Climate

Climate Circle hospitals were honored for developing climate programs and for leadership in monitoring CO2 emissions. These hospitals also educated their staff and the community in the health impacts of climate change.

Energy

Member hospitals in the Energy Circle were likely to have Energy Managers and documented energy conservation programs. Using ENERGY STAR and energy use intensity metrics, these hospitals led other healthcare organizations in energy efficiency and reduced energy use over time.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Environmental Preferable Purchasing Circle hospitals favored contract provisions and RFP policies similar to the Federal Government’s Environmental Preferable Purchasing Program. Those principles were reflected in the hospital’s Group Purchasing Organization and supplier interactions.

Green Building

Hospitals honored as Green Building Circle members have incorporated green building standards to refurbishment projects as well as new construction. As a result, their facilities have saved energy and water, used safer materials, and integrated passive solar or other natural design elements. Many of their buildings have earned LEED or similar certifications within the past five years.

Greening the OR

Surgical department best practices in Solid Waste Management (SWM), reprocessing of single-use devices, and OR kit reformulation were among the several programs and metrics seen among Greening the OR Circle award recipients.

Healthy Food

Among the food system policies and education programs at Healthy Food Circle hospitals were sustainable sourcing, food waste prevention, and smart beverage choices. These strategies and more were designed for a healthy people and a healthy planet.

Leadership

Visionary leadership, effective communications, and data tracking were among the factors seen at Leadership Circle hospitals.

Less Waste

Hospitals recognized in the Less Waste Circle had mature, comprehensive programs that achieved high recycling rates and generated low regulated medical waste.

Water

Water conservation programs and efficient water use is what distinguished hospitals within the Water Circle. Their success could be tracked in reduced gallons consumed per square foot and less water use over time.

Sustainable healthcare brings benefits to patients, the staff, and organizational budgets. It is also good for the environment! ecoPreserve has seen the results and been grateful to participate in several projects that prove this.

Tags

Copyright © 2021 ecoPreserve. All Rights Reserved.

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

Tools tailored to location and need

Disaster resilience requires a select toolset, identified, adapted, or created as needed based on planning calls and inclusive workshop participation.

Business and government organizations today are confronted by threat categories that range from drought to flood, from fire to hurricane, and extend globally to pandemics and sea level rise. Threat categories are broad and diverse, but ecoPreserve and collaborating organizations design resiliency tools for specific local context.

Local needs are identified and verified. Building from that essential understanding, tools are designed, tested in pilot programs, refined, then implemented through action plans.

Today's challenges/
tomorrow's potential

ecoPreserve collaborates with major community and private organizations in optimizing the resiliency and resource efficiency of their workplaces, venues, and public spaces.

In response to ever-increasing environmental, sociopolitical, and public health challenges, we advocate for and participate in assessment and planning actions that directly address disaster preparations, recovery activities, infrastructure improvements, and smart building/city design.

Online and in-person workshops

ecoPreserve designs and leads workshops in varied formats, to achieve varied goals.

Often an event is held for skill and knowledge development, but some needs of an organization or community are better resolved through collaboration to identify requirements and to design solutions. A range of Disaster Resilience workshops are available for solutions planning and development, as well as for training and communication.

Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

  • Identify technical and business process gaps
  • Define stakeholders, recovery teams, and processes/functionalities necessary for operation
  • Highlight missed expectations from a data loss and recovery time perspective
  • Address compliance with regulatory agencies and industry standards
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
  • OPPORTUNITIES
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
  • FLOORPLAN
    • Traffic patterns
  • FURNISHINGS
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.