256 Shades of Green by ProQuest


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                                   256 Shades of Green
                                   Erin Simon Schwartz, MD

                                       n these challenging economic times, green                    Disposable cup usage is another area where
                                       practices do not have to be sacrificed for                 imaging groups can reduce waste and cut
                                       money-saving practices—in fact, green                      costs simultaneously. A single cup may be
                                   initiatives within an imaging department can                   inexpensive (usually around 5 cents), how-
                                   result in significant cost savings.                            ever the volume used by employees can result
                                     These “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principles                    in an expenditure of several hundred or even
                                   can be readily applied to imaging depart-                      thousands of dollars per year. This also adds
                                   ments of all sizes. Note the specific order of                 to the cost of waste disposal, especially if your
             Following             these principles. Reduction in resource use is                 disposal fees are weight-based. Encourage
                                   the most valuable (in terms of conservation                    employees to use travel mugs to eliminate dis-
          several basic            and preservation), and the most cost effec-                    posable cup usage. Over time, the savings can
         steps, CHOP’s             tive. An easy first step is reducing usage of                  even offset the costs of purchasing travel
                                   disposable items.                                              mugs for your team—and putting your
             Radiology                                                                            group’s logo on the cup can help spread
                                   Reducing usage                                                 awareness of your efforts to “Go Green.” Sev-
           Department                Reducing paper usage is often the fastest                    eral vendors offer recyclable plastic or stain-
                                   change to implement; and it just requires a                    less steel options, allowing recycling when no
            was able to            change in habits. Printing of emails should                    longer useful.
                                   be kept to an absolute minimum, in favor of
          reduce paper             archiving for longer-term storage of impor-                    Medical waste reduction
                                   tant items. Electronic signatures should be                      Reducing waste generated from diagnostic
         usage by 50%,             created and electronic document signing                        and therapeutic procedures offers a large
                                   allows one to email an attachment, rather                      opportunity for cost savings with greener
         saving several            than faxing a paper copy. Newsletters, pro-                    practices. Due to their hazardous nature, the
                                   ductivity reports, and meeting minutes                         costs for disposal of “red bags” can be
    thousand dollars               should be created and distributed electroni-                   upwards of six times that of routine waste.
                                   cally. It is also possible to electronically                   Carefully managed waste practices ca
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