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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-66

The RECOVER initiative: Supply recovery and donation beyond the operating room

Department of Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Peter F Johnston
Department of Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, MSB G506, Newark, New Jersey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_21_18

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Background: Similar to previous models for recovery and donation of clean and unused operating room (OR) supplies, that would otherwise be discarded, a new program was started at our institution in 2016. Subsequently, the initiative was expanded to units outside the OR. This study aims to explore the output of these other units on top of our current program. We hypothesize that expansion is feasible and productive, with minimal added effort. Materials and Methods: Clean and unused supplies, in original packaging or open box, which would otherwise be discarded were collected in marked bins from the OR, Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), and the trauma bay (TB) of our urban, academic center. Supplies were sorted, weighed, and inventoried weekly by qualified volunteers. Totals were calculated through proprietary inventory software. Results: The program salvaged 9024 individual items of 129 unique types grouped into 7 categories. In total, 1065 kg of supplies worth an estimated $20,550 USD were collected from the three patient care areas over 7 months. Adding the SICU and TB resulted in a 33% increase in recovered weight and 13% increase in value. Twenty-nine new items were added to our inventory. If this program was expanded to recover supplies from the other ICUs in our hospital, we estimate an additional 951 kg worth $9443 USD could be collected. Conclusions: Thousands of clean, unused supplies, weighing over a metric ton, are discarded in our hospital annually. The OR is the largest source of such material; however, expanding beyond the OR generates significant additional yield. Expansion is feasible with minimally added volunteer hours. Supply recovery initiatives undertaken nationwide and may help mitigate the economic and environmental costs associated with excess medical waste generation and produce staggering quantities of supplies for donation. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Systems-based practice.

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