March 5, 2010
As industries across the country are recognizing both the ecological and economical benefits of adopting so called “green practices,” it is time for the healthcare industry to take a step forward and join the fight!
Only a few years ago being environmentally conscious entailed recycling and trying take advantage of public transportation. Recent advances in technology have allowed all industries to capitalize on both the cost saving and waste reducing benefits of the electronic systems available.
For the medical world, going green is almost synonymous with going electronic – or going paperless. Just how the banking industry has evolved into a nearly entirely online system, the medical industry has the potential to be close behind with the adoption of electronic prescribing and EMRs.
Some of the environmental advantages of a paperless medical world include:
- Eliminate all paper charts in practices and hospitals
- Eliminate billions of paper prescriptions written on paper every year
- Save patients a trip to the pharmacy by sending it electronically first
- Saves on gasoline and reduces carbon emissions
- Patient information can be shared without the copying/faxing of documents that just create more paper
- The digital storing of x-rays and lab results eliminate huge amounts of paper and plastic waste
When it comes to doctors, kicking their old paper habits will not be an easy task, so as with any new technology it is up to the vendors to create a system that is user friendly and truly efficient. Granted, going green will not likely be enough to push doctors to electronic prescribing, but there are other tangible workflow benefits and clear patient safety improvements. Being environmentally conscious is merely the icing on the cake for the adoption of a broader paperless health IT system.
Join the green revolution!