Research

Greening Healthcare Operations can help Hospitals cut Costs

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A survey conducted among various hospitals across 4 cities by Hosmac, a leading hospital planning and management consultancy firm has revealed that high-end tertiary-care hospitals with 300 beds and above spend more on electricity where approximately 60% of their power expenditure is on services directly related to patient care (i.e. primary patient care services namely OPD, IPD, ICU, Radiology and Diagnostic services etc). Hosmac conducted a survey across 4 cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi & Kolkata) to collate information regarding consumption of electricity per bed across hospitals and to recommend the role of Green Hospitals in reducing the consumption of electricity across Indian hospitals. It was found that the expenditure on electricity by these hospitals is 2 to 4% of the total expenditure. This makes electricity a significant expense head, hospitals with a high dependence on artificial lighting spend more than 3 times as compared to hospitals depending on natural lighting systems, hospitals with higher level of technology spend 4 times more than hospitals with basic technology infrastructure, and Mumbai hospitals spend the most in terms of electricity consumed per bed per day. (about Rs 483 per bed per day as compared to other cities). According to Dr Vivek Desai, Managing Director, Hosmac, ‘Hospitals in their efforts to ensure a sterile and clean environment to patients tend to consume large amounts of electricity. Energy is a significant expense head in a hospital following manpower and consumables expenses. This clearly signifies the opportunity for hospitals to cut costs and also contribute to reducing the ecological carbon foot print.’

There are several options for hospitals to cut their power cost. A Green Hospital is the most effective solution to reducing dependency on power and cutting operational costs. Indian hospitals have also documented the evidences and measures of energy conservation, reducing electricity utilization by 27% and saving up to 40 lakhs rupees per annum. These interventions comprised of using solar energy, efficient lighting, installing efficient air conditioning systems, zoning hospital and reducing wastage, etc. Jehangir Hospital, Pune is one good example in the India context. The hospital saved INR. 46.25 Lakhs with an investment of mere INR 27.95 Lakhs. The hospital through its innovative strategies reduced Electrical Energy Consumption by 12.66%, Water Energy Consumption by 53.9%, Specific Energy Consumption for Air Conditioning reduced by 17.9% and on lighting by 5.99%. Similarly, Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital, Coimbatore, through its initiatives of monitoring energy utilization, upgraded technology and adapted new technology and emphasized on the use of renewable energy resources, considerably reduced its spending on energy. Hospitals should undertake intiatives to educate their staff about the various procedures to reduce the consumption and wastage of electricity within their hospitals. Hosmac plans a Mumbai seminar on ‘Practising Green Healthcare’ to help hospitals become eco-friendly to be held in Mumbai on 27th June, 2009 at The Intercontinental The Lalit on Airport Road, Andheri East. The half day session will begin from 2:00 pm till 8:00 pm with case studies, presentations and interactive sessions.

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