Hospital operating room

By saving energy, hospitals in Ohio are saving money that they can put back into patient care.

Rutschilling: “Hospitals are incredibly energy-intensive facilities. Our member hospitals utilize lots of lights, HVAC controls and complex medical machinery and equipment.”

That’s Nolan Rutschilling of the Ohio Hospital Association. Through its sustainability and energy program, he says the association has worked with more than 160 hospitals to reduce energy use.

The @OhioHospitals Association has worked with more than 160 hospitals to reduce energy use. Click To Tweet

Improvements range from efficient LED bulbs to more advanced solutions. For example, hospitals must refresh air in operating rooms at least 20 times each hour while the rooms are in use. So most keep the air circulation systems running nonstop. But Rutschilling says some have found ways to cut back when the rooms are empty.

Rutschilling: “Any return on investment that’s seen from these projects is reinvested back into the hospital.”

Over a five-year period, participating hospitals saved as much money as they’d need to employ 137 new nurses. And the carbon pollution they reduced is equivalent to removing more than 22,000 cars from the road.

Rutschilling: “Really it all comes down to cost savings and ways to be a better community member.”

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Energy, Health