The Partnership for Quality Care (PQC) will collaborate with the Department of Energy to advance healthcare industry approaches to current energy sustainability practices. This will involve identifying and implementing new strategies for PQC hospitals and integrated health systems that can drive down costs and increase energy reliability and efficiency.
Healthcare is a significant industry in the United States, accounting for 16.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, nine percent of energy use in commercial buildings and eight percent of carbon emissions, according to research from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Annually, hospitals spend $8.3 billion on energy. Energy improvements can enhance the bottom line for health care organizations to invest in new technologies, and improve patient care.
“The Energy Department looks forward to sharing our research and identifying resources to help hospitals, and other healthcare centers, across the country expand and improve energy and water sustainability practices,” said David Foster, Senior Advisor to the Office of the Secretary. “This partnership will increase energy efficiency that will lead to lower operational costs and higher-quality healthcare facilities.”
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke with PQC leaders and DOE staff about the importance of fostering this partnership to find solutions to the heavy energy use that healthcare facilities experience.
“The Partnership for Quality Care is looking forward to a dynamic collaboration with the Energy Department in tackling some of the most pressing issues facing our industry today: energy efficiency and environmental sustainability,” said Dennis Rivera, PQC Chair and Senior Adviser to the President of SEIU. “Identifying environmentally responsible solutions at work has long been a priority for the members of SEIU, and especially the women and men who work in healthcare. Working together with the Energy Department will help us identify and implement greener, more environmentally responsible operating practices as pioneering as the services SEIU members provide.”
PQC consists of hospitals and integrated health systems including more than a million health care workers who provide care for more than 50 million patients nationwide. PQC and its board is lead by Dennis Rivera of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Bernard J. Tyson of Kaiser Permanente.
“Kaiser Permanente believes in providing care in a way that enhances our environment and the health of the communities we serve. That’s why it’s critical we adopt sustainable energy sources and business practices,” said Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “We recognize that different health and hospital systems have different needs. We look forward to working with the Energy Department, our PQC colleagues, health systems, and labor partners in developing a plan that best meets those needs and that supports sustainability efforts.”
This unique collaboration builds on the Energy Department’s efforts to identify best practices for energy efficiency in healthcare facilities. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office, in partnership with NREL, has conducted significant building retrofit research to inform its Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide: Practical Ways to Improve Energy Performance, Healthcare Facilities. In addition, the industry’s need for energy and clean water supplies, both for operations and the generation of power, are important examples of the energy-water nexus and the importance of ensuring the availability, and implementing conservation methods to ensure smooth interdependence of both resources.