Perspectives in Hospital Medicine

The Harm We Do: The Environmental Impact of Medicine

Abstract

While often unseen and infrequently discussed, the environmental impact of hospital systems and healthcare providers is substantial. However, some US hospitals and healthcare systems have developed innovative approaches to reduce their environmental impact while reducing costs. In this perspective, we discuss how hospitalists may support ongoing environmental efforts through education and awareness, measurement and amelioration, public reporting, and individual actions. Given the extent of healthcare’s impact on the environment, the benefits of interventions, and the link between hospitalists and hospitals, We must minimize the harm we do.

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