Social networks for green healthcare: collaborating globally for better health and safer climate

An innovative online collaboration between healthcare services on six continents is aiming to drive the low carbon transformation in healthcare.

Online social networks are key to overcoming global challenges, like climate change, the Climate Adaptation 2014 Conference at the Gold Coast heard last week.

A global network of hospitals and healthcare settings has launched an innovative social networking platform to link health professionals and sustainability experts around the world to boost innovation and accelerate the uptake of solutions through collaboration.

Fiona Armstrong from the Climate and Health Alliance, the Australian partner of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals, said the network and social networking platform offered the potential for the healthcare sector to drive the low carbon transformation worldwide.

Custom built for the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) network by communications giant, CISCO, the GGHH Connect platform builds on the success of other social networking platforms to foster interpersonal relationships and information sharing to accelerate the global uptake of initiatives to reduce healthcare’s environmental footprint.

“Healthcare is a significant contributor to GDP in all developed economies and increasingly in developing nations,” Ms Armstrong said.

“As the heathcare sector transitions to low carbon operations, and reduces its environmental footprint, it can have a huge influence on supply chains as demand increases for products and services with low carbon intensity and a light environmental ‘footprint’.

“By creating an online platform for collaboration between healthcare services providers and health organisations, GGHH Connect provides the opportunity and the means for people working on sustainable healthcare initiatives to learn from others, to share their progress, to ask questions of experts, and to leapfrog many of the challenges they would face if they were tacking these issues alone straight to solutions,” Ms Armstrong said.

“The health professions and the sector have a fundamental mission to ‘do no harm’. There is a responsibility to ensure the delivery of healthcare is not compromising health and wellbeing by contributing to climate change, itself a risk to health, or to local environmental pollution.

“We are very excited by the increasing participation in the network in Australia and around the world, and very hopeful about its capacity to revolutionise healthcare and provide an example for other sectors to use collaboration as a powerful means of change.”

The Climate and Health Alliance and Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association will jointly host the third annual ‘Greening the Healthcare Sector’ Think Tank, Leading the Low Carbon Transformation, in Brisbane on Tuesday 14 October.

Media contact: Fiona Armstrong 0438900005 co******@ca**.au

Join over 77,000 nurses and midwives in NSW by becoming a valued member today.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation