'Green Hospital' Has a Double Meaning

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , August 7, 2009

It took leadership to install that conservation mindset into me, the same way it takes leadership to implement efficiency policies in your hospital, where "going green" should be a corporate directive. Frugal times call for frugal measures, whether that means replacing that aging boiler, turning off lights where they're not being used, or installing wind turbines or solar panels on your expansive roof. It could also mean setting thermostats slightly higher, using water-conserving plumbing fixtures or making use of available natural light to decrease the need for artificial lighting. They all save money.

To me, it's doesn't have to be about some high-minded desire to save the earth. It's simply about efficiency, and the environmental benefits are a bonus. After all, money saved on electricity, paper and other supplies means more for that shrinking bottom line.

Maybe efficiency isn't as sexy as saving the earth, but as you look down the barrel of declining reimbursements and greater scrutiny on patient outcomes and satisfaction, "going green" means cash, and that kind of beauty never goes out of style.

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Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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