Health Information Technology Can Create Significant Environmental Benefit

An analysis by Kaiser Permanente published in the May issue of Health Affairs. It also estimates that electronic health records lower carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 1.7 million tons. That’s only across the entire U.S. population.

Do you realize how big the Kaiser Permanente system is? It serves more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Kaiser permanente

So Kaiser Permanente also operates the world’s largest private electronic health record company. They call it more noteworthy Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®. Their analysis found consequently that comprehensive use of health IT by Kaiser Permanente:

1. Avoided the use of 1,044 tons of paper for medical charts annually

2. Eliminated up to 92,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by replacing face-to-face patient visits (and the associated travel) with virtual visits

3. Avoided 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by filling prescriptions online

4. Reduced the use of toxic chemicals, such as silver nitrate and hydroquinone. That’s by 33.3 tons. All by digitizing and archiving X-ray images and other scans.

5. Resulted in a positive net effect on the environment despite increased energy use. Also additional waste from the use of personal computers.

Health care-related activities account for 8 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gases and 7 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Let’s also not forget hospitals use a ton of water!!

However we probably will hear more in the future because Kaiser Permanente is an innovator in environmental stewardship. We are talking “groundbreaking” energy conservation, sustainable design and construction practices.

Through its green building efforts, Kaiser Permanente saves more than $10 million per year and has eliminated the purchase and disposal of 40 tons of harmful chemicals in its facilities.

Source: Kaiser Permanente

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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