When you hear the words “sustainability”, do you think of nitrous oxide, blood gases and LED installations?

Sustainability Competition award
Dr Bjorn Makein and Dr Fahad Yousif from the RMH Emergency Department, which won the Best Clinical Change Project award in the Sustainability Competition.

When the Sustainability Working Group opened nominations for the inaugural Sustainability Competition last year, little did they know they would receive a whopping 14 entries from a range of clinical and non-clinical individuals and teams.

A range of initiatives showcased some inventive ways to reduce emissions across our services.

One project from the Emergency Department reduced unnecessary arterial blood gas (ABG) and coagulation tests by 37 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, saving 74kg of Co2 per month.

The Telehealth team estimated that patients using telehealth appointments rather than coming into the RMH services saved 103,434 N95 masks, which is equivalent to 1.1 tonnes of clinical waste.

Meanwhile, a shift to an all-electric vehicle fleet in 2023 will reduce the RMH’s CO2 emissions by 305.38 tonnes a year.

The RMH Sustainability Clinical Lead and Thoracic Surgeon Dr Ben Dunne said the Sustainability Working Group was “delighted” at the quality of entries received.

“It really highlighted to us the passion that exists in our workforce to work collaboratively to make healthcare more sustainable,” he said.

“We have been inspired to find additional support for staff across our organisation to support our staff to continue and grow the projects that have started and to encourage other people to start new projects.”

Five projects from across a range of departments were named the winners in five different categories.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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Life’s unpredictable. Our response isn’t.

We urgently need to raise $2.5 million for a second CT scanner in our Emergency Department.

This is a vital piece of equipment that provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for trauma and stroke patients like Brianna.