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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:35 am
Posts: 1
I am looking at using the model for hospitals. As I understand, all the materials medical equipment, ambulance transport, surgical supplies patient/ staff food etc will be included in this sector. At least that is what the output suggests (as it includes farming practices, etc). Is this correct?

How does one deal with the substantial waste produced by the health care sector. Does one assume that the embodied energy in the waste has been already calculated through the economic activity it generated when it was purchased?

Thanks in advance,

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:34 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:01 pm
Posts: 90
Welcome to the forum.

Let me try to clear up two important things about IO models, as implemented on our website. running an IO model to get total supply chain results does in fact consider the entire upstream supply chain. Thus the impacts of the medical equipment needed are considered (as well as the materials needed to manufacture that equipment).

On the other hand, you need data on any particular metric to fully understand its importance. As you can see on the website we have data for energy use, estimated emissions, etc. That data comes from data on the energy used (or emissions) of each sector in the supply chain. If we wanted to consider waste, we would need data for waste generation for each sector - which as you will see is not currently included as a "column" result. Even if we did have an estimate of regular solid waste, it wouldn't explicitly give us the detail we might need to assess the specialties of medical waste.

However, medical waste is at some point just a medical supply (not including bio-waste). Thus the model is considering the large embodied energy in producing all of that stuff that becomes medical waste (needles, gauze, etc). It is just not doing anything with respect to tracking the materials/waste itself. The model COULD, we just do not have the needed data.

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