Oct 22, 2016
The final day of CleanMed Europe 2016 began with a wide range of parallel sessions where participants shared ideas and best practices on a wide range of topics including pharmaceutical management, waste management strategies and increasing education through leadership in the clinical environment.
One of the parallel sessions focused on ‘Energy Efficiency Policies in the Healthcare Sector’ and participants embarked on a lively and inspiring exploration of policies and strategies to reduce energy use and promote energy efficiency in the healthcare sector. Ranging on topics from building design and efficiency to behaviour change, participants saw how a range of institutions and cultures have the potential to achieve significant efficiencies.
Annegret Dickoff from BUND, Germany explained her non-profit's participation with the National Climate Protection Initiative to implement no/low cost energy saving measures. They trained "climate managers" in hospitals through a series of workshops and are measuring impact.
Dinis Rodrigues from the Portuguese Energy Agency discussed his strategies for promoting energy savings in public buildings and hospitals in Portugal. He explained the challenges and strategies in the measurement of energy reduction.
Finally, Chris Large from Global Action Plan in the UK has been able to very successfully promote energy reduction measure in multiple trusts in the NHS. Global Action Plan appealed to hospital staff's desire to improve the restfulness of patients as a way of encourage behaviours such as switching off lights, and eliminating idle or unnecessary machinery.
Meanwhile, in session C3: ‘Improving perioperative pharmaceutical manaement’, Drs Jodi Sherman and Elena Bukanova from Yale University explained that existing practices and regulations cause huge waste of pharmaceuticals used by anaesthesiologists and presented potential solutions. Between 30% and 80% of pharmaceuticals used by anaesthetists are wasted. Using standardised prefilled syringes would not only reduce the amount of waste, but protect against medication errors caused by different systematic and human factors.
Dr Sherman also reported that, in the US, the level of harm caused by pollution was of the same order of magnitude as that caused by medical errors so “Public health is a patient safety issue”.
Another one of the ‘C’ sessions was around the theme of pharmaceuticals in the environment and the next steps to be taken in Europe. In this session, Professor Ole Pahl, Professor of Environmental Technology at Glasgow Caledonian University pointed out the multilevel ways in which antimicrobial resistance can occur. It was highlighte that although some of these are still unknown, we have to intervene to tackle the problem.
Bengt Mattson of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations then introduced their Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship programme looking at the pharmaceutical industry's perspectives on pharmaceuticals in the environment.
Finally, Anette Kuster from the German Environment Agency presented their research project ‘Global relevance of pharmaceuticals in the environment’, pointing out that a risk-benefit analysis is currently needed for all human health medicines.
After a short break, the final parallel session took place, focusing on leadership in sustainable healthcare, urban climate actions, and sustainable waste management, amongst other topics.
In the session titled ‘Reducing pharmaceutical pollution through new strategies: Case studies’, presenter Judith Singleton from Queensland University of Technology pointed out that pharmacists know very little regarding the causes of and how to address pharmaceutical pollution.
Peter Kelly and Thomas Moeller described the new ways being developed of decontaminating waste water coming from hospitals achieved by Pharmafilter and at Aarhus University Hospital, respectively.
In session D5, ‘Sustainable waste management: reuse, recycling and safe disposal’, Dr Erol Odabasi from Johnson and Johnson and Mrs Sara Mewton from BD presented about the industry initiative, The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council. This started in the US and has just opened a European chapter to promote design for recycling and other methods of increasing the amount of plastics which are recycled rather than landfilled or incinerated.
Daniel Vukelich of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors explained how members of the association validate their procedures so that devices are classed as “remanufactured” and have the same safety standards as the original equipment manufacturers. With devices costing thousands of Euros increasingly being sold as “single use” this service is increasingly important and can save significant amounts of money and waste.
The final Plenary Session at CleanMed Europe 2016 was based on the theme of ‘Visions for a low carbon world’, and featured Julie Appelqvist, Senior Climate Advisor with the City of Copenhagen, Erol Odabasi, General Director of Sustainability at Johnson & Johnson, Didier Bourdon from AP-HP in France, and Gary Cohen, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm. The session was moderated by Sonia Roschnik.
The final Plenary Session opened with the launch of HCWH Europe’s Healthy and Sustianable Food in Healthcare Pledge, where Deputy Director Grazia Cioci outlined the main goals of the pledge – to help hospitals and healthcare systems improve the food they serve to patients, offer more plant-derived foods, and to foster the educational role of healthcare providers, amongst other objectives. She also invited hospitals and health systems from across Europe to visit the website and take the pledge themselves, committing to serving healthier and more sustainable food in their institutions.
Julie Appelqvist spoke about the ways in which they are improving the lives of their citizens by reducing noise and air pollution in the city of Copenhagen. Appleqvist also pointed out that cities have a responsibility as large emitters and must improve citizens’ health.
Erol Odabasi then re-invigorated the crowd with a ‘micro-burst’ to the tune of Pharell William’s ‘Happy’, energising and exciting the crowd. Afterwards, Odabasi spoke about how partnerships lead to better health outcomes and different stakeholders including businesses, academia, and health institutions need to come together to improve the sustainability of the healthcare sector.
Next, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm spoke about the future of low carbon, toxic-free, sustainable technologies and practices in healhtcare. Cohen explained how the future is a ‘green chemistry’ future in which health will be promoted in schools. He also pointed out the need for all of us to expand our role as healers, healing communities and the planet, and not just individuals. In his parting words, Cohen urged all participants to “keep at it and increase the momentum” on challenging the status quo and working towards more sustainable healthcare.
The last speaker of the conference was Didier Bourdon from AP-HP, who spoke about the work being done in the association of public hospitals in Paris towards a low carbon future. Burdon also used the opportunity to outline the goals and projected activities of HCWH Europe’s new European Healthcare Climate Council, and invited participants to join the movement towards low carbon healthcare.
As CleanMed Europe 2016 draws to a close, we would like to thank everybody who took part to continue make CleanMed Europe Europe’s leading conference on sustainable healthcare. Special thanks to our sponsors Johnson & Johnson and Novo Nordisk (gold sponsors), and BD and Phillips (silver sponsors) for their generous support. We would also like to thank all of our exhibitors and speakers from a wide range of fields and topics who have all contribued to the variety and depth of the conference.
Thanks also the UN City, and our supporting partners – UNFPA, UNDP, and the Capital Region of Copenhagen for their contributions.
Finally, we would especially like to thank our volunteers at this year’s conference, who were always on hand to assist participants and were extremely dedicated, hardworking, and committed.
We hope that you have enjoyed CleanMed Europe 2016 and will go home with fresh ideas, new contacts, and more determined than ever to join together to help healthcare to use its ethical, economic and political influence to create an ecologically sustainable, equitable and healthy world.
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