UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, August 2012


Spotlight on UCSF LivingGreen Champions:  OR Reprocessing Team

ReprocessedThe UCSF Reprocessing Team was recently awarded the UCSF 2012 Sustainability Award.

The Reprocessing Team identified single-use devices used in the operating room (OR) that can be collected, reprocessed by a third-party vendor, and potentially purchased for reuse.  This entailed working with OR and sterile processing staff, and third-party reprocessors, to create processes to ensure reprocess-able devices are collected and appropriately stored.  The team also evaluated the economic viability of purchasing reprocessed devices and, where viable, created new purchasing and inventory processes.  Education, training, and information opportunities were provided for surgeons and staff.  Efforts spanned the Parnassus and Mt Zion campuses and the Orthopedic Institute. 

In the first six months of implementation, the OR Reprocessing Program diverted 4,000 pounds from the landfill and reduced OR costs by nearly $150,000.  The team continues to meet, monitor progress, and evaluate additional devices that could be added to the program.  In the past two years, OR and Cath lab reprocessing saved over $600,000 and diverted approximately 10,000 pounds of medical waste from landfills.

Dr. Stan Rogers, physician champion and member of the OR Reprocesing Team, told colleagues this is “an effort to improve efficiency and ameliorate the negative environmental impact of our operating rooms, while continuing to provide superior health care to our patients.” 

Congratulations to the OR Reprocessing Team Members:

• James Bennan, Administrative Director of Patient Care Services for the OR
• Chris Bogan, Buyer, Purchasing
• Dr. Jonathan Carter, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of General Surgery
• Nicole Collins, OR Nurse, POD Manager for Orthopedic, Ortho-spine & Neuro-spine Surgery
• Robin Diehlman, Manager, Materials Services for the OR
• Debbie Gee, Director, Orthopedic Institute
• Mike James, Manager, Sterile Processing Department
• Sandra Wienholz, OR Director
• Joyce Nacario, OR Nurse, Greening the OR Committee Member
• Kevin Pattison, Director, Materiel Services Administration
• Christine Pollak, Operations Improvement
• Dr. Stan Rogers, Chair of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Co-Chair of Healthcare Technology Assessment Program
• Dr. Susan Ryan, Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Greening the OR Committee Member
• Susan Schubert, OR Nurse, POD Manager for General Surgery
• Valerie Sullivan, OR Nurse, Mount Zion
• Donna Tramontozzi, OR Nurse, General Surgery