How Technology is Positively Impacting Green Initiatives in Healthcare
Technology solutions help improve hospital workflow efficiencies, team productivity, financial performance, and patient care. A fringe benefit from these digital solutions that is often overlooked is the tangible and important impact they can have on the environment.
Reducing Paper Consumption
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average 1,500 bed hospital prints around 96 million pages of paper each year; that’s more than 250,000 pages per day. Based on a study by the Center for Global Development, the world is set to lose more than a million square miles of trees to deforestation by 2050 if we don’t make a change.
By digitizing their workflows, hospitals can eliminate manual processes while also reducing paper waste. Hospitals leveraging Vyne Medical’s® digital fax solution have exchanged more than 90 million electronically faxed pages in the last 12 months – each of which would have been a printed sheet of paper if not for the Trace® platform or a similar technology. With the average tree producing 15,000 pages of paper, this equates to approximately 6,000 trees saved annually.
A Compounding Problem
While most people understand the value of reducing paper waste to offset deforestation, an often overlooked fact is that paper makes up 26 percent of total waste in landfills. With existing landfills reaching capacity, additional space is created through the deforestation of local green spaces, further exacerbating the issue. On top of that, when paper decomposes it produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 28 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide. The irony of having to destroy more trees to make room for waste and paper is a sobering fact that amplifies the need for increased green initiatives.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Work-from-home
The Covid-19 pandemic prompted many businesses to send their employees home to work remotely in order to comply with CDC guidelines on social distancing and government-instructed lockdowns. For many, this changed the way they communicated as they shifted from in-person to virtual interactions with the support of various types of technology such as Vyne Medical’s Work-From-Home solution.
Transportation makes up 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. With more than 280 million registered vehicles in the United States and the average commuter wasting 54 hours a year sitting in traffic, cars have greatly contributed to the problem and account for one-fifth of all U.S global warming pollution. During the pandemic, we saw the impact our daily commutes have on air quality. Since the shutdown in early 2020, global nitrogen dioxide concentrations fell by nearly 20 percent and cities Los Angeles and New York saw their concentration rates drop by an average of 28 percent.
“At Vyne, we actively work to create paperless and remote work settings for many of our employees and healthcare clients, and we are committed to continuing to incorporate green initiatives into our business model. Patient care, staff alignment and financial performance will always take center stage for healthcare leaders,” said Vyne CEO Lindy Benton, “but the collective impact we make on the environment needs to be part of the conversation.”
By leveraging technology, hospitals can make a real difference across a range of key performance indicators – not the least of which is a positive impact on the environment. Ask us how we can help your organization automate administrative workflows, reduce paper waste, support your work-from-home programs, and make a positive impact on both your bottom line and the planet.