Tackling climate change and its impact on health
Caring for our communities is core business for the health sector. Climate change is the biggest threat to health of the 21st century, and emissions cause harm in numerous ways including that local air pollution causes disease and deaths, and that raised temperatures lead to extreme weather events with devastating health impacts including food insecurity, conflict, environmental contamination and physical and mental trauma.
The work of the healthcare sector in responding to climate change and its impacts on health includes work by the healthcare sector in mitigation of emissions and adaptation.
The great news for Grampians Health is that work to reduce healthcare waste (a key source of emissions in the pipeline of resource use in supply, use and disposal), has already commenced. In 2018 one of Grampians Health’s predecessor organisations, Ballarat Health Services, established its Health Resource Stewardship@BHS program to target 16 sources of waste. To date more than 300 staff at all levels have been trained in the RE-TRed program (Resource Efficiency Training using REdesign). Together with others also stewarding health resources, GH staff have reduced waste in their daily work including in areas of overuse of energy and products (such as diagnostics, medications, consumables), models of care (including over-diagnosis and avoidable admissions), and human factors-related waste (including duplication, adverse events and safety shortcuts).
Strategies such as making it harder to order a low-value blood test, making the best choice in antimicrobial prescribing, ensuring early diagnosis of sepsis to prevent severe disease, and phasing out the use of an anaesthetic gas with high potency as a greenhouse gas have all worked to improve care, and reduce resource use and costs.
Health Resource Stewardship@BHS Framework
The 2019 Framework is undergoing revision to reflect work across Grampians Health.
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