US healthcare services are one of the most costly in the world, but for all our spending, we typically underperform relative to other high-income countries. Hospitals are one of the largest energy consumers and waste generators in the US. This consumption in the healthcare sector is responsible for 10% of the US’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and 9% of criteria air pollutants. Sustainable healthcare organizations have focused on practice changes relating to energy use, green building design, and better food service systems in healthcare, but there has been an absence of research and data-driven guidelines relating to direct clinical care.
Environmentally-based efficiency measures are expected to save hospitals and healthcare facilities a substantial amount of money. Yet, we need to develop a comprehensive approach to our emissions-scoping analyses, and further develop our tools and methods to better account for medical processes. This is what the Thiel Lab does.
Infographic & Logo created by lab intern Yiming Huang, 2020.
© Cassandra Thiel, 2021