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Accelerating Decarbonization in Clinical Care

This guide presents strategies and change ideas for health systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to anesthetic gases, inhalers, and medical products, and also includes measurement guidance for clinical care decarbonization improvement efforts.

Highlights

  • Strategies and change ideas for reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to anesthetic gases, inhalers, and medical products
  • Examples of successful improvements
  • Measurement guidance for decarbonizing clinical care improvement efforts

The health care sector is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, climate change is a significant public health challenge. Health care organizations must rapidly develop approaches to reduce their contributions to environmental emissions and lead the response to climate change through their example.

Clinicians play a central role in sustainable care delivery by making informed choices about resources, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. IHI partnered with hospitals and health systems to tackle emissions stemming from three clinical domains that have considerable environmental impact and present clear opportunities for improvement: anesthetic gases, inhalers, and medical supplies and devices.

This guide presents strategies and specific change ideas for decarbonizing clinical care related to anesthetic gases, inhalers, and medical products. In addition, potential measures are provided for decarbonization in clinical care improvement efforts.

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