New waste reduction system showing immediate results
As part of our commitment to a wider environmentally-focused initiative around reduction of medical waste, we are delighted to report progress in this area with an estimated 88 tonnes of medical waste being prevented from entering landfills every year. This improvement is a result of implementing the Stryker Neptune 3 Fluid Waste Management System.
The new system replaces the current method of removing contaminated fluid waste with disposable plastic liners, with the rollout of the system across Southern Cross Hospitals' ten wholly-owned hospitals nearing completion.
Prior to this innovative new system, the common medical waste disposal technique, through the single-use plastic suction liners used by our network, was estimated to be using enough suction liners to accommodate up to 88,000 litres of waste.
CEO Terry Moore, acknowledges the challenges of disposing of medical waste in a way that is both safe and sustainable:
“As part of our strategy to reduce our environmental impact, we constantly look for new ways that enable us to minimise waste while maintaining a high standard of care. Implementing this system not only helps us do that but it also mitigates the risk of contamination and improves efficiencies between procedures,” he said.
The system has been a positive step, and embraced with great enthusiasm within the network. At Southern Cross' North Harbour campus, General Manager Jeanette Kini states they have been using the new system with great success since early 2019.
“Our hospital was one of the first in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand to adopt the Neptune 3 system, which was quite exciting, and our staff and specialists have been incredibly supportive of the change,” said Kini.
Southern Cross Hospitals is also adopting other sustainable measures such as the implementation of a recycling system that re-uses aluminium canisters which contain anaesthetic gases. Other projects include review of 30-40 single-use sterile products, to explore how they can be consolidated into a single, customised procedure pack instead of being packaged separately.