Flowing through the System: Analyzing Water Consumption in Today’s Healthcare Landscape
We often speak in Sterile Processing and the Operating Room about critical water and water quality in relation to the impacts on the sterilization process and device longevity. We will visit those areas in a later newsletter, but we want to take a 30,000-foot view of the usage in healthcare today. In this write-up, we will cover the consumption, a percentage breakdown by the end user/amounts used on our medical devices and one way to reduce your footprint with sterilizers built with an economic footprint in mind.
Healthcare systems are among a community’s largest consumers of water. Consumption, however, varies greatly: Water use per capita ranges from 40 gallons per day to 350 gallons per day, depending on such factors as geographical location; services provided; size, age, and type of buildings; and water-use equipment and practices. A study of seven Massachusetts facilities found the potential for a reduction of almost 20 percent.1
Additional variances take place depending on in-patient vs. out-patient visits, staff attendance, equipment used, age of the facility, and periodic maintenance practices followed.
Usage Considerations & Department Breakdown
So often, as healthcare workers or patients, consumption becomes an afterthought and requirement of providing care.
Here are some additional places usage occurs:
It’s important to note that water usage can vary widely among different healthcare facilities based on factors such as facility size, patient capacity, geographic location, and facility management practices. Therefore, specific statistics may differ from one facility to another.
Here is a breakdown of one facility to give you an idea of what departments have the highest usage.
As you can see, 14% of consumption takes place in the execution of medical processes and procedures. This can be related to areas outside of surgery, but let’s look at one area where we can use best practices in new equipment purchases.
Innovative Sterilization Equipment
We would love to take a moment to introduce you to our Skytron Integrity sterilizers, which were designed with a smaller footprint in mind from a size and water consumption outlook. We want to highlight some areas here:
For full details on our Integrity line of sterilizers, visit here.
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