Speak Out: Is your urology practice taking steps to become more 'green'?

August 1, 2010

Urologists share how EMRs, recycling and reducing waste help make their practices reduce their environmental impact.

We're going to EMR, which means we won't be using all the paper we've been using for charts.

We rent our space, so we don't really have options on things like carpeting, but we do have low-pressure flush toilets, and we installed a faucet water filter instead of buying bottled water.

It is something we think about, and we look for ways to do our part."

John K. Burgers, MD
Columbus, OH

We do have doctors who go to Central and South America, and they will take leftover supplies from surgery at the hospital and take that to other countries.

These are all things we've been doing for years because they facilitate patient care."

Gina Rooker, MD
Pittsburgh

"We recycle paper, and we have the bottle law here in Oregon, so we have to recycle bottles and cans.

We've started reusing some of our plastic tools, some of which can be sterilized safely, rather than just disposing of them.

We buy things like ciprofloxacin in bulk rather than in individual packages.

I don't think that in the last 2 years, we've said we were going to try to change the way we process things. I think we just have some commonsense nurses who have probably made most of the changes."

Gregory McCoy, MD
Portland, OR

"We are converting to EMR, and we recycle paper and plastics. There are some materials, such as urologic wires, that can be reused until they wear out.

We know a doctor in Poland who has asked us to send our expired supplies to him, because they don't care about the expiration date, and we have done that.

We're a small office and, just like at home, I hate to throw anything away if it can be recycled. It's just become the way we do things."

Gus Spector, MD
Phoenixville, PA