Projects honored, reduces chemical use and energy costs
April 21, 2016 – Stony Brook University Hospital has received the Vizient Excellence Award for Sustainability. The award honors the hospital’s strong commitment to good governance, community engagement and environmental stewardship in 2015. Vizient, Inc., the largest member-owned health care company in the country, presented the award on Thursday, April 14, during the 2016 Vizient Connections Summit held in Las Vegas.
The hospital received awards due to the success of two projects; one involved the use microfiber mops, which reduced the hospital’s use of chemicals, and the other saved energy costs by updating the roofs of the buildings.
“The goal of the microfiber mop project was to minimize the labor and solution use for cleaning patient rooms,” said Cliff Roggeman, Director of Hospital Custodial Service. “In addition, we looked at providing a safe practice for staff to perform mopping that was ergonomically efficient, reduce injury, increase productivity, and overall improve cleanliness.”
Roggeman mentioned that prior to implementing the Microfiber Mop program, the hospital utilized 2.5 gallons of solution per every 3 patient rooms (floors) that were sanitized.
Before the project, the total solution required to clean 603 patient rooms was 502 gallons daily, 3,514 gallons weekly and 182,728 gallons annually. Once the Microfiber Mop program was implemented, the total solution required was dramatically reduced to 19 gallons daily, 132 gallons weekly and 6,859 gallons annually.
“It was a sustainability project that was not only beneficial to the environment but also effected staff safety because there was less material handling,” said Jill Kavoukian, Associate Director, Environmental Health & Safety. “The use of microfiber was a more efficient way to clean floors. It eliminated the buckets of dirty water, wringing of mops and provided a more thorough cleaning of all surface areas of the flooring.”
“We are now looking at other aspects of cleaning that would benefit from the use of microfiber and reduce disposal cost by decreasing our solid waste stream,” Roggeman said. “For example, we are using chemical-free auto scrubbers to maintain hard floor surfaces. Chemical-free has the added bonus of fragrance-free, which is a staff and patient safety win. Once you make the initial step, it is easier to explore more sustainable solutions.”
The second project, updating the roofs, was selected because the building was experiencing temperature control issues. The result was to install more efficient insulation, and replace the rusted steel beams supporting the infrastructure. New high efficient insulation was installed and all lighting was replaced with high efficient LEDs. Support steel was replaced due to deterioration and rust. New doors were also installed to inhibit outside temperatures from entering. The facility roofs are now water tight and the areas above the ceiling have significantly higher temperatures on cold days and lower temperature on hot days.
The most innovative feature of the deck are the three gardens— totaling 7,500 square feet— that grow herbs and vegetables that are utilized by the Hospital’s Dietary department to produce meals for patients. The project not only made Stony Brook Hospital more energy efficient, but it also created an improved outdoor space for staff and patients to congregate.
“Thanks goes to Paul Marotta and Chris Ward for seeing the deck project from start to finish,” said Mike Cullen, Associate Director for Facilities and Support Services. “We had many challenges, but overcame the obstacles and now have an efficient and seal-tight structure, along with a place to relax and enjoy a quick break or lunch.”
“Across the country, Vizient members are leading the development of sustainability programs that make the delivery of care more environmentally conscious and resource considerate,” said Barbara Anason, senior vice president, Academic Medical Center Networks and Strategy. “We are proud to recognize Stony Brook University Hospital’s commitment in this area, as well as their leadership in academic medicine.”