When you think of electric vehicles, you may not immediately think of the healthcare industry; however, studies show air quality and personal health are closely tied together, making electric vehicles a natural fit for healthcare.
Poor air quality standards create illness and substantially increase medical costs. Installing electric vehicle charging stations at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical centers make it easier for staff and patients in the surrounding area to drive an electric car and improve air quality in their local communities.
Installation of charging stations in doctor’s parking lots and hospital garages provides doctors, nurses, healthcare administrators, and visitors with an opportunity to improve public health, improve quality of life for their patients, and cut their own costs in the process.
# of ER Visits and Hospital Admissions in California Which Could Have Been Prevented if Clean-Air Standards Had Been Met Between 2005-2007
Improving Public Health
Many healthcare providers see a connection between environmental health and personal health. According to The U.S. Department of Energy, a study by Rand Health proved that “between 2005-2007, nearly 30,000 emergency room visits and hospital admissions in California could have been avoided if federal clean-air standards had been met”. The resulting medical costs are estimated at $193 million.
Air pollution causes asthma, cardiovascular disease, impairs lung development in children and has been linked to leukemia and lung cancer. The key to eliminating these diseases is often prevention, and improving air quality is a step toward improving public health.
Preventative healthcare has been an essential part of medicine for decades. Improving air quality can help prevent disease, promote health, and support the community. Blink healthcare clients are taking note, installing EV charging stations at their facilities to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and sustainability initiatives.
Staff, Patient, and Family Convenience
Thousands of people- medical staff, administrative staff, patients, and families visit hospitals and medical centers every day, making them prime locations for EV charging stations. Most staff are on site for long hours and consider the hospital their second home, making charging stations very convenient for them, but charging stations also play a role in patient care.
Many healthcare centers have taken the initiative to install electric vehicle charging stations. One is Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center. In their article “Revving Up Car Charging Stations at Our Facilities”, Rame Hemstreet, Vice President of Facilities, Operations, and Kaiser Permanente’s Chief Energy officer said, “By promoting sustainable transportation and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, Kaiser Permanente is taking concrete steps toward reducing air pollution and conditions that can harm health.” In fact, Kaiser Permanente is leading the industry in deploying EV charging stations, having installed their first Blink unit 2012.
Physician Kimberly Yang of Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, who drives a Volt, was thrilled to find charging stations in her hospital garage. She reports on top of feeling good about her contributions to a greener future she’s also saving more than half of what she used to spend on fuel.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, reduction in global economic output as a direct result of air pollution will be approximately $330 per person by 2060, and pollution-related annual healthcare costs in the U.S. will soar to $176 billion.
Poor air quality is increasing while health care costs go up, and confusion about health insurance benefits grows, costing patients and hospitals alike. Reducing healthcare costs from poor air quality saves lives and medical costs. The increasing use of electric vehicles and installations of EV charging stations is just one of the ways healthcare providers can help educate, encourage, and showcase their initiatives to improve air quality.
Sending a Green Message
Just as doctors want to send the message that they care about patients, installing EV charging stations is a great way for hospitals to send the message that they care about their communities. Helping staff make the decision to purchase an EV can create change in air quality in the community, and send the message that the hospital staff are doing their part for environmental and patient health.