Sustainability in the Healthcare Sector

What makes a sustainable healthcare facility?

Sustainable green building practices are transforming healthcare facilities’ design, construction, and operations. These practices will not only save money, they will also make spaces more effective for healing. More hospitals and healthcare practices are demonstrating that building sustainably benefits the healing process and increases the value of a healthcare center.

Strategic Energy Planning

Energy conservation in healthcare facilities saves money, but it can also improve patient experience and overall well being. Energy planning involves evaluating the organization’s current energy needs, forecasting their future needs, and strategizing to include those needs in their operations budgets.

A starting point for operational sustainability in the medical sector is evaluating existing systems and equipment. Creating an energy management program can improve a healthcare practice and create long-term benefits for the technology used on a daily basis. Several states and counties have implemented financial incentives and instituted regulations to promote sustainable design and construction.

Challenges

There are various challenges that come with sustainable construction in the medical sector. According to a report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA), existing healthcare systems are unlikely to remain sustainable without adopting innovative approaches to delivering healthcare services. This means that without a long-term plan that implements sustainable practices, the benefits of sustainable medical practices are reduced.

Another difficulty comes with the fact that healthcare facilities are constantly in a state of upgrade, modification, or expansion. This is due to the evolving state of health care and the way facilities often alter the use of space, add equipment, and restructure without considering the effects on building infrastructure and operations.