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Dr. Rick Ngo, General Surgeon, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, Texas, U.S.

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Innovation that Builds Partnerships

$3,067,711 saved on 2011 device spending for the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. 77,397 pounds of medical waste from the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System diverted from landfills in 2011.

Today’s healthcare environment challenges hospitals to examine the long-term environmental impact of their daily operations while minimizing their costs. Executives at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Texas, U.S., enlisted Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions team to help them do just that by developing a system-wide sustainability approach. A key component of the plan: greater use of reprocessed products offered by Stryker.

The move required changing the mind of reprocessing skeptics — including Dr. Rick Ngo, a general surgeon at Memorial Hermann and chair of the committee that works with the hospital administrators on safety, quality and cost-saving initiatives. Dr. Ngo was concerned about patient infection risk until the Stryker team invited him for a tour of its Florida manufacturing facility. He was impressed with Stryker’s ability to address his questions and left feeling he could make an informed decision for himself: agreeing to a trial use of reprocessed trocars and other equipment. Today, he considers the use of reprocessed products a proven, viable option for surgeons.

“I saw that there were more benefits to it than risks,” Ngo said of his decision.

This type of successful relationship has been repeated throughout the U.S., Canada and Israel. In 2011, Stryker helped healthcare providers save more than $206 million in total device spending, and divert close to 7 million pounds of medical waste from landfills.

Left: Blue Sustainability Solutions bins stationed throughout hospitals within the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System collect medical devices to be reprocessed instead of thrown away, sparing waste from landfills and saving millions of dollars for the health system each year.

Right: Supply chain executives Chris Toomes, left, and Dan Humphrey in their offices at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where they work to reduce costs while improving quality.