BackTable / OBGYN / Podcast / Episode #6
Sustainability in Surgery
with Dr. Kelly Wright
In this episode, Dr. Kelly Wright of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles joins Drs. Park and Hoffman to discuss sustainability in surgery.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, November 17). Ep. 6 – Sustainability in Surgery [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Kelly Wright
Dr. Kelly Wright is a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Dr. Amy Park
Dr. Amy Park is the Section Head of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, and a co-host of the BackTable OBGYN Podcast.
Dr. Mark Hoffman
Dr. Mark Hoffman is an OBGYN and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon with University of Kentucky Healthcare.
Dr. Wright is the Director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She has served on various hospital committees regarding patient safety and cost-optimization. She actively researches operating room cost-effectiveness and waste minimization, most recently publishing a manuscript titled, “Sustainability in Healthcare: A Call to Action for Surgeons and Healthcare Leaders.”
Drs. Park and Hoffman begin the episode by asking Dr. Wright to bring to light the overall carbon footprint of healthcare in both the US and the world, as well as what should be included in biohazardous waste containers in the operating room (OR). During this conversation, Dr. Wright demystifies the common assumption that single-use products are related to better patient outcomes postoperatively. The group then breaks down the utilization of reusable, re-processable instruments in the OR, ultimately agreeing upon a reduced carbon footprint when using these products in comparison to those that are single-use.
Dr. Wright further explains what surgeons can do in order to mitigate these issues. She discusses various approaches at the individual, institutional, and federal levels. She highlights options that include making conscious efforts to reduce waste, demanding the industry to develop reusable products, and advocate for tighter regulation to reduce carbon emissions in hospital facilities. Throughout the episode, Dr. Wright charges listeners to collaborate with members of their institutions / hospitals who are directly involved in OR waste (e.g. human factors groups, quality and safety officers, heads of linen services) to find ways to mitigate waste and engage in sustainable practices.
Schwartz KM, Wright KN, Richards EG, King LP, Park AJ. Sustainability in Healthcare: A Call to Action for Surgeons and Healthcare Leaders. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2022 Sep;29(9):1040-1042. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2022.06.024. Epub 2022 Jul 1. PMID: 35788396.
Malhotra GK, Tran T, Stewart C, Battey H, Tegtmeier B, McNeese K, Flood A, Melstrom L, Fong Y. Pandemic Operating Room Supply Shortage and Surgical Site Infection: Considerations as We Emerge from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic. J Am Coll Surg. 2022 Apr 1;234(4):571-578. doi: 10.1097/XCS.0000000000000087. PMID: 35290277.
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