How are hospitals being sustainable?

Ecological Hospitals

The phenomenon of climate change is a fact and we see its consequences every day through heat and cold waves, droughts, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, among others, which directly impact the health of the population, particularly the most vulnerable.

In this technical note, the EDGE (Excellence in design for greater efficiencies) tool of the International Finance Corporation was used to identify the most cost-effective measures to generate savings in energy and water consumption in health sector infrastructure projects.

There are cases of green hospitals in the region. For example, in Costa Rica, the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social – CCSS is leading the construction of green hospitals in the country. The EBAIS Escobal de Belen, which provides basic health care services, incorporated occupancy sensors, rainwater harvesting systems and natural ventilation. In addition, a photovoltaic solar system will provide 25% of the total energy demand. These features represent a savings of 584,052 colones per month (US$1,034/month).

Green hospitals pdf

Many aspects are involved in the recovery from an illness or health problem. Finding the best approach for each patient is key to ensuring that recovery and treatment work effectively and that the person suffers as little as possible.

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One of the priorities in the healthcare field is to provide all the services, in the easiest and most effective way, with quality and as much comfort as possible, to all those who need to follow a treatment and have to go to the hospital, especially if it is on a regular basis, such as oncology patients.

Aware of this reality and of the need to offer the best service to its patients, Quirónsalud is making a major commitment to sustainable mobility, without losing sight of its commitment to the humanization of its services. Thus, it has launched an innovative initiative and pioneering experience in the hospital field. This is an electric car service that makes it easier for patients to travel to their hospital so that they can continue with their treatment.

Global network of green and healthy hospitals

The 2017 Clinical Management Agreements reinforce the commitment to the hospital’s sustainability, identifying in its economic annex those branches of consumption (groups of materials) with a special impact on the Hospital’s budget, thus encouraging its analysis and commitment in order to obtain the optimal performance of the economic resources available through efficient management of them and co-responsibility of all professionals to implement efficiency measures that help to rationalize spending without loss of care quality.

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Within this framework, the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital works continuously to contribute to the economic sustainability of the system, within its scope of action. This commitment is expressed in this document where the main actions developed throughout 2017 are described.

Further on, it details the impact on the hospital’s Sustainable Economic Management, the elements of the model that support it, and the evolution of the main items that make up its expenditure and investment structure and describes the impact of the hospital on its environment, highlighting its role as a generator of direct employment and the contribution to the business development of the province.

Green hospitals characteristics

The principles of these buildings are built on the foundation of the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce environmental impact, reuse natural resources and recycle when using energy supplies.

According to Pamela Castellán, CEO of the Guatemala Green Building Council, building hospitals in a sustainable manner has a direct impact on the reduction of costs at the operation and maintenance level, especially due to the energy and water demands of this type of project, two areas in which the return on investment is very evident.

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When starting a hospital project, resources must be conserved and reused. In addition, it is important to correctly manage the raw materials used in order to avoid waste and, at the same time, to prevent the generation of unnecessary waste and emissions.

Technology is also a great ally for sustainable construction. Thanks to the use of the most modern and professional construction tools, such as concrete mixers, hoists, electric elevators, generators and other types of maintenance and cutting tools, much more use is made of materials and less waste is generated, since they are highly efficient, use less energy and do not pollute the environment, even sonically, because they produce less noise.