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A thank-you from future generations

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | January 01, 2013
From the January 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Welcome to your January issue of DOTmed Business News! By the time you read this, it'll be 2013. I hope your year has started off right. For the news team at DOTmed, I believe the year has started off right because we got to cover some interesting initiatives. This month's issue is our "Green" issue. Whether you go with green, eco-friendly, or environmentally conscious, if your facility is making headway in that area, you're making a great decision.

The eco-movement has certainly picked up steam over the last few years in health care. It makes sense - a healthier environment means a healthier populace. Yet, with the economic troubles we've experienced and continue to experience, not everyone is willing to make the commitment, citing budgetary concerns, staffing shortages or a scarcity of knowledge about the benefits of "going green." That's an unfortunate state of affairs because most of those issues can be resolved in short-order with proper management, but environmental degradation is an issue that's difficult to reverse course on, taking years, if not generations to undo damage if it can be undone at all.

To me, that means it's all the more important that DMBN shines a light on some of the health care facilities and companies taking steps to make sure that there's still a world to enjoy for future generations.

So take a look at the industry sector report on reprocessing [page 27] as well as the features on green vendors [page 51] and hospital food service [page 44] to see just some of the ways hospitals are becoming better stewards of the planet.

If your facility has made a shift to be more environmentally responsible, I'd love to hear your story. Send me an email and tell me about it and we'll consider sharing that story online to inspire others.

Although this issue's official theme is "greening health care," as I edited the articles, I noticed an interesting secondary theme. Two different stories challenge misconceptions. For starters, the feature story on hospital food service provides proof that at least some hospital cafeterias don't deserve to be compared to the airline industry's notoriously awful meal services. As staff writer Nancy Ryerson points out in the piece, lime Jell-O isn't prevalent in some innovative facilities. Just make sure you've had a good lunch before checking out the story or you will get hungry.

A second notion being challenged in this issue surrounds hospital beds. If you haven't slept in a hospital bed in the last few years, that's good news. But your good fortune might mean your perception of the beds needs updating. I personally have a soft spot for one of the companies featured in the article [page 36] - a few months back, I spent three restful nights sleeping on one comfortable bed. But it's not just comfort being delivered. There are high-tech aspects giving this equipment fresh updates as well.

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