A bridge too far

Call me a curmudgeon, but this story had me screaming at my computer screen:

Surgeons at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, are confronting their environmental impact head-on through a pioneering program called OneView, Medscape Medical News reported.

Developed in-house, this initiative reveals the carbon emissions generated by individual surgeons during procedures, aiming to address the environmental toll of healthcare, particularly within the operating suite.

Displayed on the program’s dashboard in an easily digestible format, surgeons can track their operating room (OR)-related emissions for each procedure, benchmark themselves against peers, and engage in side-by-side comparisons, Medscape reported.

Through surgical preference cards, detailing necessary supplies for specific procedures, the program calculates emissions based on the manufacturing process and energy consumption associated with the surgery....

By utilizing OneView, surgeons gain visibility into their carbon footprint and can make informed decisions to reduce waste. The software employs a machine learning algorithm that projects emission and cost changes based on adjustments to the preference card.

What?  WHAT???

Hey, if you're operating on me, emit all the damn carbon you want. Sheesh.


  1. Maybe they could do surgeries with disposable chopsticks, and instead of anestechtics,

  2. Sorry about the typo and the unfinished comment. Am pretty sick myself right now. I was ‘trying’ to say that instead of anesthetics, they could just have a random orderly knock you out previous to surgery.

  3. Maybe this is a way to reduce costs to pay off Regent insurance…they just settled with them…
    And remember kids, turn off those OR lights to save energy and money.

  4. The ultimate virtue signaling is showing your "carbon" reduction chops- as if that dirty carbon is the same as life sustaining trace gas, CO2. But let's all keep listening to the filthy rich lecture us from their private jets and oceanfront mansions.

  5. I get it, all those fancy supplies like disposable sponges and cloths are pretty carbon intense to produce. Surgeons should just bring some old dish cloths from home, then wash them for re use in the next surgery. That system has worked fine in third world countries for decades. Again, we can learn from the wisdom of simpler societies.

  6. Always assumed that “First do no harm” referred to the patient. Not the f***ing atmosphere.

  7. Yeah, tackle bigger fish first please

  8. ^this.
    Might be nice to have some data in a general sense (medical waste, not just carbon and environmental footprint in a general sense) , but of all the things we do that that’s bad environmentally, carbon or not, I’d think individual fairly infrequent medical procedures can’t be the #1 priority?

    Maybe it’s a story to intentionally draw animus?
    Gets hate clicks.

    But yeah, idk, if you’re building a brand new hospital or remodeling pieces of it in such a way that it can be a little more energy efficient & better located for the facility itself in some general sense, why not.

    As to the rest of it, whatever?

  9. What a totally dumb and possibly harmful program. Absolutely bonkers that anyone would think something like that is even remotely ok.

  10. How insulated from market forces do you have to be to implement something like this?

    1. Well, yes, insulation from market forces is the main problem. What we need is to start charging makers and retailers for the emissions from their products, so that they have to factor that into their thinking instead of getting free use of the atmosphere as their sewer. If we work it right, we could stop taxing labor and savings and fund everything from pollution charges, constantly incentivizing innovation in lower and lower carbon technologies.


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