By Jennifer F. Waljee, MD
In this new decade, it is critical to identify pragmatic strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle in Hand Surgery in order to reduce healthcare expenditures and our environmental footprint. Surgery is one of the highest consumers of supplies and energy in healthcare, and also one of the largest generators of waste. Nonetheless, even small changes can translate into a large impact. For example, efforts to create standardized supply lists for procedures with periodic reviews of the use of each tool, suture, or drape can identify areas where waste can be eliminated. In addition, strategies that evaluate the necessity and appropriateness of single-use items, expiration dates, and packaging size could also reduce excess. Going forward, close attention to opportunities to conserve and recycle inside and outside the operating room can create a positive impact on our healthcare system and environment.