Medical Manufacturer Using Lean to Contribute to Earth Day Goals

April 22, 2011
In 2010, the company's environmental program contributed nearly 100 tons of single-stream recycling.

Baxa Corp, a medical device company that provides technologies for medication handling and delivery, announced on April 22 that it making progress in reducing the environmental impact of business operations.

Since 2008 the company's recycling initiatives have grown by 22%; and in 2010 its program contributed nearly 100 tons of single-stream recycling.

This achievement reduced the consumption of:

45,527 gallons of oil
2,360 gallons of gasoline
688,310 gallons of water

"As a practitioner of the lean manufacturing philosophy, we support lean pharmacy objectives with our partners and customers as well," explains Greg Baldwin, CEO of Englewood, Colo-.based Baxa. "Our focus on the reduced use of resources permeates all that Baxa does. In fact, we just reconfigured our ExactaMix disposables packaging to a more compact design to reduce the storage requirements and waste burden."

In 1999 the company adopted lean manufacturing principles to reduce waste and scrap in production. Then, in 2002, the company built its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to increase efficiency in lighting, air handling and process control.

Baxa, whose headquarters are LEED silver-certified, extends its leans efforts through the use of the DoseEdge pharmacy workflow management system which works to minimize pharmacy waste. Of the nearly 4,000 active DoseEdge users, more than 41,000 doses have been reused since the product's inception -- a direct result of its waste reduction capabilities.

Recently Allegheny General Hospital, a 661-bed facility in Pennsylvania, conducted a study to reduce the volume of discarded IV doses. The results, which were presented at the 2010 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, highlighted the role DoseEdge played in the dramatic reduction of IV waste volume. In just eighteen months the hospital slashed its annualized number of wasted doses by 69%. This marks a reduction of 22,995 doses. According to the research, Allegheny's coordinated approach to waste reduction translated to an annualized savings of $310,000.

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