Monday, September 26, 2016

Hospitals- Go Green!

Gone are the days when hospital used to have a deadly atmosphere and an unpleasant odor being a pre-requisite of patient getting more ill during the course of treatment. With rapid development of technology, consumer awareness increasing to greater extent and hospitals taking a social responsibility of protecting environment and patient, Green Hospital concept came into being.

A green hospital is one that aims to be environmental friendly, utilizes renewable resources, reduces waste by implementing green practices and enhances patient well-being. The concept of a green hospital was perpetuated a few years back by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) through the release of their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for building construction. It works on the principle of the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These hospitals are very innovative and reduce the emission of carbon to a large extent. Although the initial cost of construction for green hospitals are high, it has a long term effect in reducing energy cost by 20-40% and water saving upto 35-40%.

Hospital planning companies should plan and design hospitals in such a way that they maximize the utilization of day-light rather than artificial light. One of the critical factors to be considered is improving the quality of air by using an air sterilizer and certain species of plants, which absorb pollutants. Gardens and parks provide aesthetic beauty, increase patient delight and enhance their well-being thereby helping them feel better faster. Implementing various tools like lean management and Six Sigma would help in reducing waste.

Kohinoor Hospital, Mumbai is the first Platinum Rated Green Hospital in India. Many others have also come up to follow green concept in the past few years, such as Asian Healthcare, Matushri Monghiben Ramji Savla Hospital and Research Centre, Max Balaji Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Continental Hospitals Ltd, Lazarus Hospitals Ltd, Govt. Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College & Hospital, ESI Hospital, Medica Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

As per Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), introducing green concepts in the healthcare facilities can help address National issues like infection, epidemics, handling of bio-medical waste, water efficiency, energy efficiency, reduction in fossil fuel use for commuting, consumer waste and in general conservation of natural resources. Most importantly, these concepts can enhance patients' health, recovery and well-being.

Hence, it can be rightly said, Green Hospitals are not future oriented but the only sustainable thing.

- Mr. Anurag Bora, Student, INLEAD 

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