Sustainability, Quality, Value – Can Healthcare Have It All?

Medline Reveals How Health Systems Reduce Waste, Maintain Quality and Achieve Millions in Savings

MUNDELEIN, Ill.--()--Hospitals operate all day, every day, making their environmental footprint large, generating approximately 7,000 tons per day of infectious, hazardous and solid waste and consuming large amounts of energy and water. Industry involvement in and support of sustainability efforts is no longer a question of “why” or “when,” but “how.”

While the opportunities to go green are increasingly available, too many are tied to the issues of cost, adoption and quality of care. “A sustainability solution is not realistic if it doesn’t take into account the burgeoning issues of healthcare reform,” says Frank Czajka, president of Medline Industries, Inc.’s ReNewal reprocessing division. “It also requires ongoing staff education.”

As a leading medical supplier, Medline is committed to providing realistic sustainable measures with a strong ROI to healthcare systems. Through its uniquely structured Medline ReNewal reprocessing program, hospitals can “green” their ORs to help reduce waste by as much 5,000 to 15,000 pounds for a typical 200-bed facility. In fact, Medline Renewal is on track to reprocess more than one million medical devices, including ultrasonic scalpels, shavers, blades and trocars, through contracts with more than 900 health facilities nationwide by year’s end. That alone is projected to divert nearly a half million pounds of medical device waste from landfills – the equivalent of five million empty plastic water bottles, and can save each facility on average between $600,000 and $1 million a year in surgical device acquisition costs, according to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors.

On average, the cost of a reprocessed medical device is about half of what a new one would cost. Compression sleeves and other non-invasive devices offer savings of about 25-35 percent, as compared to purchasing a new device.

Success Factors

According to Czajka, reprocessing success lies in four main factors: providing high quality reprocessed products that meet the FDA’s regulatory requirements ensuring their safety and effectiveness; constant, system-wide education; ongoing reminders to staff to reprocess; and comprehensive program monitoring.

“We make it easy for our customers to reprocess because we treat it as a team effort. Our sales professionals and program managers work with the hospital program champions every step of the way,” said Czajka. “Our program not only drives participation, it helps expedite the reprocessing process, so we can return the devices to the hospitals in a timely manner.”

Reprocessing is not just a trend, but a necessary change. According to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), U.S. hospitals are saving more than a quarter of a billion dollars a year by refurbishing single use devices and diverting millions of pounds of waste from our nation’s landfills. AMDR states that “independent analysts project double digit year-over-year growth for the reprocessing industry (and thus savings to the healthcare system).” America’s finest medical facilities, including all of the institutions ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals are reprocessing their medical devices.

“One of the main reasons we have such high participation with ReNewal is that doctors trust that the returned devices are safe for their patients and will perform as well or better than before,” said Czajka. “Medline’s refurbishment and testing processes are as thorough and complete as anyone’s in the industry.”

Another way Medline delivers invaluable customer service and engagement is with its powerful on-demand online reporting system, giving hospitals 24-hour access to updated, real-time information on the status of their reprocessing program. Information includes: savings and reprocessing goals, progress made toward achieving goals, monitoring reprocessed device pricing and actual savings achieved, opportunities available for reprocessing, inventory management and order status.

About Medline

As the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care products, Medline manufactures and distributes more than 350,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices, home care agencies and providers, and retailers. Recently named the best place to work in the medical supplies industry by sales representatives, Medline is headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., and has more than 1,200 dedicated sales representatives to support its broad product line and cost management services. For more information, go to and to connect with Medline on a variety of social media channels.


John Marks, (847) 643-3309

Release Summary

Medline is committed to providing realistic sustainable measures with a strong ROI to healthcare systems. Through Medline ReNewal reprocessing, hospitals can "green" their ORs and help reduce waste.


John Marks, (847) 643-3309