By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Our country is going green — at least we hope it is — and guess what? Hospitals are going green, even in the operating room.

I bet you didn’t know that health care facilities are the second leading contributors of waste in the United States. They produce more than 4 billion pounds of waste annually. Guess where the most waste comes from? Operating rooms alone account for approximately 70% of hospital waste.

A new report looked at practical strategies that could be implemented by surgical units to cut down the waste identified without compromising patient health. According to a report in the Archives of Surgery, the panel’s top five strategies were reducing operating room waste, reprocessing single-use medical devices, making environmentally conscious purchasing choices, managing energy consumption and managing pharmacy waste.

The best part of the plan in the successful hospitals was that people were able to control the process.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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