Home' The Source : Fourth Quarter 2012 Contents with some vegetables and herbs coming from the gar-
dens maintained on the hospital grounds.
"We have a full-blown restaurant menu, and we try
to make our food from scratch around here," he says.
"We make our own meatloaf, roast our own turkeys."
He keeps prices in line by purchasing through Entegra,
a HealthTrust vendor, and by keeping an eye
An added byproduct, according to Crist, is
how the patients respond.
"We have become part of the healing pro-
cess," he says. "If you're in the hospital, you
aren't able to make a lot of choices, but one
of the choices we o er is to select your meals.
We've heard patients say they didn't want to be
discharged until they finish the menu!"
For hospitals desiring to make changes in
their own kitchens, Crist has one simple sug-
gestion: "Adopt a farmer," he says.
Crist works with Sustainable Harvest Farm, a
local farmer who calls Crist in the afternoon to
ask what he needs and then has it delivered to the hospital kitchen's
loading dock by 5:30 the next morning.
ATTACKING WASTE, REDUCING COSTS
Greg Gerard, president of Saint Joseph Berea, a 25-bed medical
facility in central Kentucky, led the overall Working Green/Living
Green team initiative for the health system, as well as at his own
facility. The practices he has implemented at his facility were among
the initiatives that contributed to the recent HealthTrust award.
Like Crist, a number of Gerard's initiatives started in the
kitchen and cafeteria, with a practical, no-nonsense
approach to being environmentally responsible.
"The first thing we did in Berea was to recycle,"
Gerard says. "That doesn't cost us anything."
Aluminum, cardboard, plastic and paper (after
shredding) are now routinely recycled. Through
recycling, the facility has reduced its
number of dumpsters from four to three
and the number of weekly garbage pick-
ups from five to three.
A second area Gerard and his team
attacked was to eliminate Styrofoam.
"Styrofoam is cheap, but it never goes
away," Gerard says, adding that the facility
switched to biodegradable containers. The 12 cents
extra per cup is built into each beverage, and the additional
17 cents per to-go container is charged to the consumer.
"We told the sta we're passing the extra cost to them, which
we also hoped was encouragement not to use the to-go items,"
The Working Green/Living Green Team at Berea also sold tum-
blers with the team logo on them for $7, entitling the cup owner to
purchase beverages at a reduced rate.
Berea, like London, Ky., has its own gardens and
purchases much of its produce from the local Farmer's
Market, which it hosts twice per week on the hospital
campus. The benefits, Gerard says, extend beyond the
"A fresh garden tomato is nothing like what you buy
in the grocery store," Gerard says. "It makes a
di erence in the image of your hospital and
in the morale of the employees."
Berea's environmental consciousness has
made its way onto the hospital floors with the
reprocessing of single-use instruments, such
as pulse oximeters. By working with the sup-
plier and sending back the items once they are
used, Berea and other medical facilities have
been able to reduce costs and waste.
Linens, too, is a large area that can be
streamlined for waste and cost reductions.
Once linens are pulled o the sterile cart, they
must be laundered again before they can be
returned to the cart. By considering actual
needs before removing sterile linens, Gerard says his facility's laun-
dry costs have been reduced. Also, because most hospitals pay linen
services by the pound, using a mop instead of towels to clean up a
spill reduces costs and resources.
"Linen utilization is something every administrator needs to
look at," Gerard says. "It's often overlooked, but that's an easy one."
SMALL CHANGES, BIG DIFFERENCES
Michael Jones, corporate director, Clinical Education and
Sustainability at HealthTrust, says being environmentally respon-
sible starts with the Hippocratic oath.
"If you talk about the original concept behind medicine
of 'do no harm,' then it is simple," Jones says. "Our first
priority should be to do no harm to the patients and the
environment, to not be part of the problem, but part
of the solution."
Of the various programs implemented
as part of the sustainability initiative,
Jones says one of the simplest also has
the largest cost savings: reprocessing
HealthTrust has documented mem-
ber savings of more than $100 million
since 2007 by reprocessing single-use
devices, says Jones, who adds that these sav-
ings are with 30 to 35 percent of all HealthTrust
hospitals participating at varying levels of implementation. With
complete and committed implementation across all members, the
savings could reach that same $100 million figure annually, Jones says.
While reprocessing single-use devices seems like a no-brainer, not
everyone is on board, particularly among original equipment manu-
facturers (OEMs). Support, however, is growing, Jones says. During
the past three years, two of the largest manufacturers purchased
THING WE DID
IN BEREA WAS
member savings of
by reprocessing single-use
devices since 2007.
Crist's kitchen not
only reduces waste,
but it also utilizes
and switched to
28 The Source | Fourth Quarter 2012
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