Oftentimes, when we hear the term “going green”, we think about it in reference to energy efficient tips that can be applied to our homes, cars and schools. However, the reality is that green energy has become such a vital (and necessary) issue, that effective ways that it can be utilized has become applicable to virtually every category and company—including healthcare. Yes, there are several ways that green energy can actually play a significant role in reducing healthcare costs as well.
Use solar energy. Most of us are familiar with the fact that you can use solar energy to generate electricity, and there are more hospitals and medical offices that are applying solar panels to their structures for this exact purpose. By going this route, it not only lowers energy costs, but it also improves the energy’s efficiency. An added bonus is that as more buildings are becoming energy efficient, by making this addition, it actually adds to the value of the property.
Use natural lighting. A lot of us have probably never thought about the fact that when we go to hospitals and offices, a lot of times we see them filled with lots of windows. Natural lighting not only brightens people’s spirits and provides patients with a healthy daily source of Vitamin D, but large double-pane windows and skylights also helps to maintain the temperature of the inside of the building without having to continually adjust the central air units.
Get Energy Star Certified. When it comes to being energy efficient, one of the highest forms of praise that you can get is to be Energy Star Certified. There are several factors that come into play as it relates to being eligible, but in order to get a score of 75 (which is really good), one of the main things that is evaluated is how a building’s site energy compares to its source energy. For more information on how to know if your healthcare facility qualifies, visit EnergyStar.gov and put “Healthcare” into the search engine.
Use less paper. If you’ve ever looked in a doctor’s office, then you’ve probably noticed a lot of files—paper files that are used as a source of documentation for their patients’ records. As time is progressing and technology is expanding, that paper is being replaced with tablets and apps where files can be stored and information can be immediately updated during doctor visits. Many offices are also making their waiting rooms more energy efficient by using LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights, switching out desktops for laptops and even applying different forms of rainwater harvesting (the storing of rainwater for the purpose of later converting it for drinking and other uses).
“Insure” greener environments. When it comes to going green, you probably didn’t think that it could include healthcare plans and insurance supplements. But the truth of the matter is that insurance covers expenses that are needed when it comes to getting medical care. So, wouldn’t it make sense that in the effort to keep people from needing to use their insurance as much that healthcare companies would work to implement more health-savvy programs? That is just what a lot of hospitals and offices are doing by not just providing medical assistance but also proactive information on how to eat, exercise and care for oneself at home in a way that lowers one’s risk of needing physical care that is expensive to pay for. After all, if more effort is put into preventative healthcare, less is needed for find a cure to what ails us. And when it comes to our well-being, that’s being efficient in the very best way imaginable.