Practice Greenhealth in the OR

Practice Greenhealth in the OR

Re-printed from Practice Greenhealth website


Operating rooms can drive big facilities’ cost savings and efficiency improvements through smart, incremental, sustainable practices. Even more important, it’s possible to make these changes while not only maintaining quality patient care but also supporting staff and environmental health.

Though a tiny percentage of a hospital’s total physical footprint, operating rooms have a huge impact on hospital budgets. Operating rooms, on average:

  • Drive up to 60 percent of a hospital’s revenue
  • Are responsible for 40 to 60 percent of the organization’s total supply costs
  • Produce more than 30 percent of a facility’s waste and two-thirds of its regulated medical waste
  • Can consume three to six times more energy per square foot than anywhere else in the facility

Despite a sound business case, one of the greatest challenges for greening the operating room can be convincing the surgical teams, who rely on empirical data and consistencies in structure and process, to consider changes in their respective practices. Practice Greenhealth member hospitals have learned that data, communication, and collaboration across disciplines is crucial to success, especially in the surgical setting.

Practice Greenhealth offers resources to help members develop proactive frameworks for undertaking Greening the OR strategies. Our goal is to provide step-by-step resources that make it simpler for any hospital to design, implement, and measure the success of efforts that reduce energy use, supply costs, and waste generated in the operating room. 

Cleveland Clinic saved more than $4 million in 2017 through Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR strategies. Small hospitals can benefit too, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars through similar programs.