ANA Supports Initiative to Improve Hospital Environmental Practices

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As part of its efforts to create healthier work environments for nurses, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is supporting a new national initiative launched publicly on April 3 that encourages hospitals to be more environmentally conscious in their day-to-day operations.

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a three-year plan to improve the health and safety of patients, hospital employees and communities, encourages participating hospitals to reduce waste, increase recycling, conserve energy, use safer chemicals, purchase environmentally-preferred products, and serve healthier food and drinks.

Through these sustainability practices, hospitals should be able to reduce costs and free up resources to improve care for patients, organizers say.

The initiative is sponsored by 11 health systems representing more than 500 hospitals. The initiative is being coordinated by Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm, and the Center for Health Design. Over the next three years, information will be gathered from participating hospitals to measure the effects on patients’ and staff’s health and hospital expenses.

ANA’s Healthy Nurse initiative includes a focus on environmental health. A guiding document, ANA’s Principles of Environmental Health for Nursing Practice and Implementation Strategies, includes 10 principles that serve as a foundation for an environmentally safe and healthy practice.