Skip reading this article and just listen to this great TED talk from which the information is derived!
If we designers want to instigate change, we have to speak the language of our collaborators. Robin Guenther, P+W's Senior Advisor to Health Care without harm, appeals to the Hippocratic Oath principle to "first, do no harm." Unfortunately the environment of healthcare workers is causing them harm, as they account for more than 40% of adult occupational asthma.
The other way to produce change is by promoting transparency. A 1995 study found that medical incinerators are the second largest producers of deadly dioxins in the US. In one decade, they shut down 99% of their 5,000 plants. Did you know that US hospitals use 2.5 times the amount of energy as European hospitals? If we considered US Healthcare to be a country, they would stand as the 10th largest contributor to greenhouse gases!
Through efforts to make sustainable hospitals, we can make them forces of positive health change for everyone, instead of "towers of disease."