Healthcare Sector - Green+ Hospitals from Siemens: Sustainability is more than just ecology

Erlangen

18 February 2010

Sustainability essentially includes ecological, social, and economic factors. This also applies to healthcare and its service providers. For this reason, Siemens has introduced the “Green+ Hospitals” program. The “plus” in the name means that sustainability in healthcare does not simply equal ecology. In this industry it has far more to do with increasing workflow efficiency, improving the economic sustainability of healthcare companies, and simultaneously optimizing the quality of patient care, all while taking environmentally-relevant aspects into account. For this reason, Green+ Hospitals brings together all solutions that help hospitals meet these three criteria. The program is being introduced to the public in detail for the first time at Arab Health 2010. The conference, which takes place each year in Dubai, is one of the world’s most important presentation platforms for medical engineering, health, pharmaceuticals, and dental technology.

When combined with ecological, economic, and social criteria, sustainability ensures the future success of our society. In this regard, health is both a result and a prerequisite. The sustainable development of our society supports and promotes health. On the other hand, sustainable economic activity is impossible without a healthy population. For sustainable development, society therefore needs healthcare systems which are viable for the future and, which in turn also have to meet sustainability criteria. However, cost pressures often result in problems for healthcare systems, calling into question the sustainability of their services. Today’s physicians and hospitals are expected to be environmentally sensitive and continually improve patient care, while simultaneously lowering costs.

In order to ensure that diagnostics and therapy, even personalized medicine, will continue to satisfy the highest standards and yet still meet the requirements of affordable healthcare, Siemens designed “Green+ Hospitals“. The superscripted plus sign means that sustainability in healthcare requires not only ecological aspects to be taken into account, but also efficiency and quality. The hospital benefits from Green+ Hospitals because workflows are optimized and service processes are designed to be more efficient. Innovative medical systems and high-tech building infrastructure reduce energy costs and help to improve patient care. Patients benefit for example from shorter wait times and new diagnostic and treatment methods that put less strain on the body while improving the quality of treatment. In addition, as part of Green+ Hospitals Siemens advises its customers on optimizing workflows, building management, energy management, control systems, as well as IT and communications infrastructure.

“There are of course many approaches in the hospital that include critical aspects of sustainable development for the organization, such as promoting preventive care, patient orientation, and quality and environmental management. However, these tend to be viewed as separate, isolated issues. With Green+ Hospitals we want to turn the individual aspects into a comprehensive picture to help our customers operate sustainably,“ said Heinrich von Wulfen, CEO of Sales Regions Europe, Africa & Middle East, and Customer Relationship Management at Siemens Healthcare.

As part of its commitment to sustainability in healthcare, Siemens recently signed a contract with the China Hospital Association. In strategic cooperation with Heilongjiang Province, this organization is supporting “Green Hospital”, an initiative for establishing a sustainable healthcare system in this region.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2009 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 11.9 billion euros and profit of around 1.5 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.