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Health Care Procurement

Health care organizations use a variety of channels to make purchasing decisions and to contract for products and services. Below is information both about health care purchasing generally and links to GPO environmental purchasing programs.

  • Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) - GPOs aggregate purchasing volume for health care providers. One estimate indicates that 72% of all hospital purchases are through GPOs1, and the majority of those purchases go through one of the seven GPO members of Practice Greenhealth. See below for links to specific GPOs and their environmental programs.
  • Environmental Purchasing in Healthcare
    • Data from our 2013 award applications indicate that:
      • 92% of 2013 Partner for Change Award Applicants have Clinicians involved in environmental programs
      • 71% have an environmentally preferable purchasing policy
      • 93% have communicated to their GPO a desire for environmentally preferable products.
      • 91% consider environmental impacts selecting general products or services
      • 65% consider environmental impacts when selecting medical devices
    • Whether environmental issues are considered in specific contracts or purchases varies widely. For clinical devices, value analysis committees may consider environmental issues along with clinical issues and price. Facilities rarely pay more for environmentally preferable products unless there is some other benefit, such as savings during disposal or use, or patient or staff safety enhancements.  Suppliers and service providers should be prepared to provide quantifiable environmental benefit information and financial savings information.
  • GPO Environmental Programs - Most Practice Greenhealth member GPOs provide information on their environmental programs on their website. Most also provide a way for new vendors to make themselves known to the GPO, and for vendors to introduce innovative technologies. See links below for specific information, and don’t hesitate to contact Lara Sutherland at 866-598-2210 or LSutherland@practicegreenhealth.org with questions.
  • Listen to the GPOs present at CleanMed 2015: view session CM15E7: How GPOs Are Supporting Sustainability in Supply Chain: A Panel Discussion

  1. Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives, Steven Deller et al., University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, June 19, 2009.

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Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

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