(November 17, 2008) - In an effort to reduce waste and improve
its overall impact on the environment, Memorial University Medical
Center (MUMC) now uses a mix of both disposable and reusable
products in its operating rooms, catheterization lab, labor and
delivery rooms, and outpatient surgery departments.
In September, MUMC became the first acute-care facility in the
United States to begin using the new Hybrid Preference Pack™ from
the healthcare service companies Cardinal Health and SRI Surgical®.
These ready-to-use kits help hospitals improve environmental
sustainability, because they combine a strategic mix of disposable
surgical components. The kits MUMC uses contain products such as
surgical gowns, back-table and mayo stand covers, towels, and
stainless basin sets that can be sterilized and re-used after a
procedure. Each kit also contains disposable items such as skin
preparation products, surgical patient drapes, sponges, needles,
and syringes that cannot be re-used.
"The transition to the hybrid packs has been remarkably smooth.
The surgeons have readily accepted the reusable gowns and drapes.
We have significantly diminished our negative impact on the
environment while saving a considerable amount of money," said Carl
Boyd, M.D., medical director of perioperative services at MUMC.
The processing plants owned by SRI Surgical to prep products for
reuse incorporate water management systems that reclaim 76 percent
of all incoming water. They also reduce energy use with efficient
direct fire water heaters and heat exchangers. Friendly wash
chemicals and steam sterilization are also part of SRI's commitment
to protecting the environment. Reusable products are 100 percent
inspected, repaired when needed, and sterilized properly before the
Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare
organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and
southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital,
a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary
and specialty care physician networks; a major medical
education program; business and
industry services; and NurseOne,
a 24-hour call center.