To Be High Performing, the U.S. Health System Will Need to Adapt to Climate Change

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<p>The U.S. health care system is the world’s seventh-largest producer of carbon dioxide, making it a major contributor to air pollution. In a new post on <em>To the Point</em>, the Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, M.D., and Shanoor Seervai observe that recent environmental catastrophes have shown climate change can adversely affect the health care system’s ability to meet patients’ needs. </p><p>These links suggest that health care organizations have both an opportunity and an obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the authors say. Few health systems have cut carbon emissions or developed coping strategies to protect their patients and facilities during extreme weather events.</p>
<p>If health systems and organizations were to incorporate environmental sustainability into their core practice, they “might not only reduce the cost of care, but also help fulfill the obligations that come with the industry’s size, its huge carbon footprint, and its mission to improve health.” </p> Read the post