Medical News and Perspectives
October 10, 2007

Hospitals and Clinics Go Green for Health of Patients and Environment

JAMA. 2007;298(14):1625-1629. doi:10.1001/jama.298.14.1625

The health of the environment is currently on many people’s minds, as scientists study it, politicians argue about it, and others try to do their part by adopting environmentally friendly practices at home and in the workplace. Some of the latter include individuals charged with making businesses and organizations—like hospitals—run.

Health care administrators say that clinics are an obvious place to implement “green” initiatives, from reducing the quantity and toxicity of health care waste to integrating sustainable design and building techniques. “We should be doing everything we can to make sure that the environment in health care facilities and the impact they have on surrounding communities are healthy,” said Anna Gilmore Hall, RN, executive director of Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition of more than 500 hospitals, medical professionals, labor unions, environmental organizations, community groups, and other organizations that are working to reduce pollution in the health care industry.

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