In the past year, the world has seen first-hand just how reliant we all are on our healthcare systems and what happens when our medical institutions aren’t taken care of properly. The pandemic has pushed medical experts to their limits, and as we keep discovering just how instrumental they are to our existence, many of them are making a difference in more ways than we know. For example, modern-day healthcare facilities are continuously striving to do good, but also to introduce smart, sustainable practices that will make their processes streamlined as well as more Earth-friendly.
If you are running a medical practice of your own, you know how vital it is to keep up with the demand of the public and how essential it has become for all of us to change our ways and protect our natural resources. You can do both with the right strategy at hand. Here, we’ll list a number of ideas to make your medical practice more energy efficient for the long haul and thus elevate your presence and your impact on the environment.
Create a clear energy-use policy
In order to understand your existing energy use and recognize opportunities for growth and adaptation, you need to have a clear policy on energy monitoring, auditing, and regular equipment testing. This level of transparency and supervision will help you outline specific goals, such as how you can introduce water efficiency solutions as well as energy-saving ideas into your everyday operations.
Use your plan to clearly define what energy efficiency means for your medical facilities so that you can set realistic and measurable goals. Then you can create projections to determine the financial benefit as well as the sustainability impact of your medical practice for the next five to ten years, and always go back to the drawing board for more, smarter solutions.
Turn to LED lighting for clean rooms
All medical facilities need to meet specific requirements especially for clean rooms in order to operate safely and to be in line with governmental regulations relevant for the region. From labs to intensive care units, clean rooms are designed to be exceptionally energy-demanding, but you can rely on advanced solutions to reduce expenditures and increase efficiency.
For starters, you can turn to cutting-edge technology used in clean rooms such as LED lighting that both increases visibility, improves performance for medical staff, but it also helps reduce energy use for the long term. LED lights are durable, cost-effective, and they are far more sustainable than their traditional counterparts, making them the ideal choice for modern healthcare institutions.
Use smarter HVAC systems
Your entire HVAC system might seem to be in working order, but it might also be contributing to unnecessary energy use and extraneous dents in your budget. How? Well, older HVAC systems as well as those that have been in use for a longer period of time will naturally not be permanently calibrated, and they require ongoing maintenance to check and calibrate the equipment when needed.
This is especially vital for hospitals with 24/7 work hours that have HVAC systems operating non-stop. Ideally, you want to upgrade to smarter, programmable HVAC solutions that help regulate temperature and ventilation in general without unnecessary energy use or excessive monitoring. Choose energy efficient equipment within your HVAC system to make sure that your energy use is reasonable and that you cut your maintenance costs over time.
Auto-regulated smart tech
Even with hospitals that have specific wings and departments that operate on a 27h basis, you can still rest assured that there’s no need to use the lighting, heating, or air-conditioning the entire time, non-stop. For starters, by improving the insulation of the building itself, you can make the heating and cooling process much more energy efficient, and reduce the number of hours you spend on heating and cooling your rooms.
Using programmable thermostats is also a given. Instead of relying on your extremely busy staff to turn down the heating when the rooms are comfortably warm, you can set the thermometer to regulate room temperature automatically. Also, sometimes your tired staff might forget to turn off the lights – use automated switches that will turn off the lights based on motion detectors.
Train and encourage your staff
Any medical practice is a complex network of professionals that need to operate like clockwork – in unison and harmoniously. That said, your employees’ attitudes will heavily impact your hospital’s ability to become more energy efficient. You need all your workers’ buy-in and commitment to succeed.
That is why ongoing training, recurring educational programs, and practical tips for your employees will make all the difference. If you hire based on values to begin with, that, too, will help establish a culture of sustainability. However, always make sure to educate your staff on how to make the most of all energy efficient features your medical practice offers, and what they can do as individuals to make a difference.
From implementing solar and wind energy to replace other, diminishing natural resources, all the way to imbuing these values into your employees’ everyday actions, you can go a long way in your plans to increase energy efficiency. Not only will it improve your budget capabilities, but it will also boost your reputation in your community, and above all, it will make an impact on the planet and set an example for all those around you to follow in your footsteps.
Chloe is a journalist who loves to write about sustainability and lifestyle-related topics. She is also passionate about photography. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take some stunning photographs of beautiful places. Besides all this, she enjoys drinking coffee and reading a beautiful book from time to time. You can find her on:
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2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Making your Medical Practice More Energy Efficient”
A very big thing that medical and science building can do is to choose sustainable freezers.
Choosing low-emission refrigerants for freezers (and A/C units) is one of the most important ways to mitigate climate change. https://greenstarsproject.org/2018/08/24/sustainable-lab-freezers-low-ghg-gwp-refrigerants/