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HSCA, Group Purchasing Industry Endorse Landmark Environmental Tool From Practice Greenhealth to Help Guide Selection and Procurement of Environmentally Preferable Products for Hospitals
Date:10/13/2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA) today announced at its annual International Expo that it has endorsed the Practice Greenhealth "Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products," which can be used to guide the identification, selection and procurement of environmentally preferable medical products. The tool is a significant part of Practice Greenhealth's Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative, which the organization launched earlier this year to provide a common set of tools for purchasers, suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that environmentally preferable products (EPP) are available, cost competitive, of comparable quality and generate a sector-wide market shift in the direction of sound EPP practices.

"Group purchasing organizations are not only healthcare industry leaders in delivering the best, most innovative products at the best value to American hospitals, but also in zealously advocating for the adoption and utilization of global standards to ensure that safer products and services benefit patients, hospitals and the environment," said HSCA President Curtis Rooney. "HSCA and the group purchasing industry are proud to work with Practice Greenhealth to further address critical issues of product safety and environmental sustainability in the healthcare supply chain. Our members commit to using this invaluable tool as part of the product evaluation and procurement process, and in our industry-wide efforts to reduce our environmental footprint."

The Practice Greenhealth tool will serve as a template containing standardized questions on key environmentally preferable attributes of medical products that can be used by all stakeholders, including GPOs and healthcare purchasers in their supply chain procurement process, and manufacturers and suppliers in their entire product life cycle process.

"What we buy matters. By selectively choosing the medical products that enter hospitals, we can generate demand for inherently safer products and services for patients, workers and the environment. Products should have reduced impact on our natural resources, contain safer chemicals, and drive reductions in energy use. We strive for a healthy environment and to do no harm. Environmentally preferable purchasing is an effective way for improving environmental performance of healthcare products," said Anna Gilmore Hall, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth. "Greening the supply chain is an essential element for any healthcare facility embarking on a journey toward sustainable healthcare. Purchasing products and services with a reduced impact on human health and the environment takes into account one or more environmental attributes in products and services and applies them in the supply chain process."

Practice Greenhealth selected the questions with input from dozens of organizations representing various sectors of the healthcare industry, including hospitals, health systems, suppliers and GPOs. Practice Greenhealth also worked with nonprofit organizations and government agencies in developing questions for consideration.

"Asking these important questions aligns perfectly with the HSCA mission to help educate the nation's healthcare providers and enable clinicians to make informed, evidence-based decisions when sourcing and purchasing products for their patients," added Rooney.

The standardized questions will function as key considerations in purchasing practices to help meet several goals, including, but not limited to, providing the supply chain a tool to identify key environmental attributes of concern to the healthcare sector, collaborating with the largest purchasers of medical products to accelerate demand for products with reduced environmental and human health impacts, informing and educating the healthcare community, and creating a consistent platform to reduce the RFI/RFP burden on suppliers.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading membership and networking organization for institutions in healthcare that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

For more information about the "Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products," please visit www.practicegreenhealth.org/gsc

About the Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA)

The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA), formerly the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA), is a broad-based trade association that represents 16 group purchasing organizations, including for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and healthcare provider alliances. HSCA's mission is to advocate on behalf of healthcare group purchasing associations, to provide educational opportunities designed to improve efficiencies in the purchase, sale and utilization of all goods and services within the health industry and to promote meaningful dialogue between GPOs. For more information, visit www.supplychainassociation.org.


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SOURCE Healthcare Supply Chain Association
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