THE SITUATION

For years, a local hospital in Cleveland has been at the forefront of sustainability. The world-renowned healthcare system already had a number of successful initiatives established – from a plastics and paper recycling program to a comprehensive biohazard waste plan. However, the organization did not have a system-wide program for the management of their out-of-service medical equipment.

 

THE CHALLENGE

The hospital system was committed to dramatically reducing their carbon footprint and limiting the number of devices that ended up in landfills, and they needed an experienced partner to guide them.
reLink Medical was selected to lead the effort.

 

THE SOLUTION

Develop a comprehensive system-wide disposition plan
With each facility managing its out-of-service medical equipment independently, they needed a process that could be implemented throughout the healthcare system. Working with the hospital’s sustainability team, including management, clinical engineers, and staff, reLink established best-practices for medical equipment disposition across the organization.

Get Everyone on the Same Page
Understanding that buy-in from all stakeholders was critical, reLink was instrumental in communicating the new procedures to stakeholders. Presentations were delivered to attendees on-site. Information was also communicated by email and direct phone conversations to those who were not accessible in person.

Implement an Aggressive Redeployment Strategy
Research shows that redeploying and rehoming medical devices is the most effective way to reduce landfill waste. reLink worked with the hospital system to establish a plan that would prioritize redeployment. The hierarchy of actions was as follows:

  1. Redeployment of devices within the hospital system
  2. Sale of equipment to third party
  3. Donation of equipment
  4. Harvesting of components for re-use.
  5. Recycling of materials when components were unusable
  6. Send to landfill, only if no other options are left available.

To implement the plan, reLink and their hospital partner established the following:

  • A “Spring Cleaning” program that expedited removals and rehoming across the system.
  • A rapid response logistics system that simplified scheduling and pick-ups for all of the hospital’s facilities.
  • A thorough triage system where reLink professionals could assess the value of a medical device and determine whether it should be sold, donated, or recycled.
  • A robust sales platform, that gave the hospital access to over 12,000 global buyers through reLink Medical’s multi-listing marketplace.
  • An online dashboard where the hospital leaders could monitor in real-time pounds recycled, devices sold, and revenue earned.

 

THE RESULTS

  • For the first time in its history, the hospital has a system-wide program for managing its out-of-service medical equipment and maximizing its sustainability efforts.
  • In the first months of the program, more than 20,000 pounds of medical device waste was properly disposed of or harvested for recycling
  • In the first months of the program, the hospital was able to manage more than 1,000 devices through reLink.
  • In less than one year, more than 500 devices were rehomed through sale or donation.
  • They now have a predictable new revenue stream.
  • The hospital has the ability to monitor their activity online in real-time, simplifying equipment management for all stakeholders.