Warringal Private Hospital’s Day Oncology team has helped uncover an innovative new solution for medication packaging, helping to reduce the use of plastic and polystyrene across the Ramsay Health Care network.
In a bid to cut down on the high volume of bubble wrap, ice packs and plastics which are used to keep chemotherapy drugs safe and at the right temperature, the oncology team approached medical supplier Baxter Health Care to come up with a more sustainable solution.
Together with Ramsay Pharmacy, the collaboration came up with the idea of ditching the excessive plastic and implementing the award-winning Woolcool system - which is recyclable, sustainable and environmentally responsible.
Ramsay Pharmacy General Manager of Operations Michelle Lynch said the woolly switch was fantastic news for the entire Ramsay network.
"Changing medication packing systems is not an easy or straightforward task because we need to make sure the chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs stay safe during transport, particularly on very hot days," Ms Lynch said.
"The Woolcool solution is brilliant and we are already seeing a massive reduction in the plastic used across Ramsay. Woolcool thermally outperforms polystyrene and is far more environmentally responsible.
"I want to thank Sue and Jayne from the Warringal Day Oncology team for first raising the issue of excessive packaging and helping to inspire such an important and positive change," Ms Lynch said.
Woolcool insulation keeps contents cool and safe, packaged at 2 - 8 degrees Celsius for up to 72 hours. It is made from 100% sheep’s wool and is manufactured in Australia and New Zealand by Planet Protector Packaging.
Baxter Healthcare General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Steven Flynn, said creating a more sustainable healthcare system relied on collaboration and strong partnerships between hospitals and suppliers.
"As a local Australian manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare is committed to product stewardship and sustainable healthcare," Mr Flynn said.
"With the largest national network on Compounding facilities in Australia, it’s important we work with Ramsay Health Care to reduce, re-use and recycle hospital waste.
"This new innovative solution to reduce packaging waste builds on our existing partnerships with Ramsay to recycle hospital PVC waste and aluminium bottles of gas anaesthesia."
As well as being recyclable, the woolcool felt can be reused through the home and garden, as kitty litter trays, pet beds, weed mats, mulch in the garden, lining for hanging plant baskets and even protecting worm farms or bee hives against the summer heat.