Summary of Sustainability for Healthcare Management

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Hospitals and health care providers are among the most significant consumers of Earth’s resources and should make sustainability the bedrock of their missions, cultures and operations. Hospitals can be corporate role models in practicing sustainability and in helping prevent the very diseases and conditions that bring patients to their doors. Using real-life examples and stories from the fictional “Memorial Hospital” and its cast of characters, authors Carrie R. Rich, J. Knox Singleton and Seema S. Wadhwa engagingly describe how hospitals and health care providers can make a difference – not only for those they care for today, but for the patients and families of tomorrow. While this very practical handbook has tedious moments, getAbstract recommends it to health care leaders who want to embed the principles of sustainability into everything they do.

About the Authors

J. Knox Singleton is CEO of Inova Health Systems where leadership development expert Carrie R. Rich is an executive staff member. Seema S. Wadhwa heads sustainability initiatives at Inova and at Urban Ltd., an engineering and design firm.




Sustainability means fulfilling “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations” to thrive as well. As leading creators of waste, and as major consumers of energy and other resources, health care providers are uniquely positioned to incorporate sustainability into their business processes while serving as model companies in their communities. Sadly, few health care administrators, managers or physicians understand the concept of sustainability, let alone know how to weave it into their business models. Sustainability, though, embodies the values of the Hippocratic Oath to, “First, do no harm.”

Hospitals should practice sustainability for at least four solid reasons:

  1. Consumers concerned about the environment expect the companies they patronize to be concerned also.
  2. Hospitals already must comply with “regulatory requirements,” such as those covering the disposal of medical waste.
  3. In a highly competitive job market, desirable employees want to work for providers that follow sound environmental practices.
  4. Sustainability helps hospitals run more efficiently, improves care and saves money...

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