Green IT Barely Registers a Pulse in Healthcare, Survey Finds

Green IT Barely Registers a Pulse in Healthcare, Survey Finds

Although green IT is well underway in some industries, new research shows that the healthcare industry isn't one of them.

A global survey conducted by BridgeHead Software, a company that sells storage virtualization software targeted at the healthcare industry, found that just one-fourth of all respondents say their organizations have a specific target for reducing their carbon footprints. A full 29 percent said they weren't aware of a target existing at their companies.

The survey, which asked IT professionals in the healthcare industry about what, if anything, they were doing to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency in their IT infrastructures, found that only 16 percent monitor energy use from IT in their companies.

"Prior to the recession, 'green IT' was definitely en vogue. Yet the survey results suggest a shift in priorities, namely that green IT is not a primary focus for healthcare IT professionals at the moment," John McCann, Director of Marketing at BridgeHead Software, said in a statement. "Although reducing the carbon footprint from their IT infrastructures may not be not a specific objective, any green benefits certainly seem a welcome by-product of other cost-saving activities."

The healthcare industry is one notorious for its energy use and waste generation. Focused more on helping the sick and injured, it has been slower than some industries to implement energy efficiency and other green practices.

General Electric has taken its successful ecomagination concept and begun applying it to healthcare, under the name "healthymagination." And a study published last week suggests that the healthcare industry is one of several that will likely see boom in energy efficiency spending in the near future.

For more on how hospitals and other healthcare facilities can use energy efficiency to save costs and reduce their energy impacts, read "The Rx for Greening a Healthcare Facility," published by GreenBiz.com last year.