200588 Observatory for Environmental and Social Responsibility in Health Organizations (OMARS)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:30 PM

Martín G. Blanco Garcia, Mgr , Hospital Chief Executive, University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
José Luis Navarro Espigares, PhD, Prof, Mgr , Economic Department, University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
Maria Jesús González Callejas , Food and Nutrition Department, University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
The Observatory (OMARS) is a pioneering initiative in the health sector, as defined under the current requirements of environmental development and continuous improvement. This observatory reflects the innovative character of the Andalusian Public Health System. OMARS emerged as a multi-stakeholder organization in which some Spanish public hospitals, the Foundation for Health Research of Eastern Andalusia, and a group of health sector provider companies participate.

OMARS has become a platform for search and transfer of knowledge of good environmental and socially responsible practices for implementing in the health sector. The aim of this paper is to present the main lines of work done by OMARS.

OMARS' current work focuses on four major projects: the newsletter of good environmental practices, the contribution of telemedicine to reduce CO2 emissions, reduction of surfactants in hospital wastewater, and the replacement of plastic garbage bags by bags made of potato starch or corn.

As an outcome of the dissemination of good environmental practices by OMAR, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves has launched a program of Healthy and Organic Food by incorporating “BIO-menus” in breakfasts and picnics. The new menus are made entirely of foods from organic agriculture and ecological livestock (organic food).

Through collaboration between public and private organizations, OMAR has emerged as an effective tool for the dissemination of innovative environmental practices in the health sector. As in the productive sector, innovation and technological change do not come solely from the investigation, but the phase of experimentation and dissemination of successful practices is also crucial to harnessing the positive externalities generated by any type of innovation.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the experience of a multi-sector collaboration in hospitals whith environmental repercussions. Identify the main strategic lines of cooperation and some preliminary results.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work in a Universitary Spanish hospital as a financial manager. I work regularly in environmental issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.