Allina Health Asset Reuse Exchange Program

Overview

To reduce the number of usable items ending up in the trash, Allina Health piloted a 4-month trial of an asset exchange program in 2021 that enabled the reuse of these items elsewhere in the organization. The program used an asset exchange platform that lets users post items no longer used at the facility for other users within the organization or external donation partners to claim for their own use and has since expanded to be a standard part of Allina Health’s sustainability program. To date, $273,500 in resources have been posted to the platform resulting in savings of over $171,500 for Allina Health.

Process

Allina Health’s sustainability team was alerted by staff that large amounts of furniture were being left behind or thrown away when a clinic moved or closed.  The Sustainability Team identified a need for a new process that would avoid throwing out usable items.  

Upon receiving a waste reduction grant from the county, Allina Health rolled out a 4-month pilot project of an asset exchange program at one location. After the pilot was shown to be successful in reducing waste and allowing the exchange of materials between facilities and donation partners, Allina Health was able to show this data to leadership to justify financial support for the project to continue. Implementing the asset exchange manager platform systemwide allowed the Sustainability Team to connect with staff at facilities that either had a surplus of items available or were looking for new items for their clinic or hospital to begin using the platform.

The asset exchange program was then adopted throughout the Allina Health system, and became a standard tool for interior designers, facilities and administrative staff, and facility Green Teams. The platform allows an interactive experience for any Allina Health staff to search for items, post surplus materials, claim available items, and facilitate donations with local nonprofit organizations.

Using the asset exchange platform allowed Allina Health to partner with non-profit organizations to facilitate donations to local organizations and donation centers. This initiative aligns with Allina Health’s larger Community Benefit and Engagement goals as an organization.

Large clinic cleanout projects can more easily deploy surplus items throughout the system or find a donation partner to reuse them. In August of 2022 a clinic closure created an exchange of over 100 items that went to various locations within Allina Health, as well as local schools and nonprofits through donations. In September of 2022 an exchange between Allina Health interior designers and a local nonprofit saw 25 items find a new home elsewhere. 

Partnerships

Allina Health used an online asset exchange manager platform. This platform allowed employees and local donation partners to create accounts, post and claim items, and communicate with one another directly.

Asset Exchange Dashboard

Outreach

A tutorial for the asset exchange platform was held during a Regional Clinical Operations meeting, allowing operational staff from various facilities to see how the platform works and how they could use it for their own reuse needs or find new items for their clinic.

Additionally, communications about the platform were distributed via the system-wide internal website, including a staff all-training webinar for any Allina Health employee to attend. About 500 new Allina Health employees were added to the platform as users following the communications push.

Measuring Success

After seeing successful results from the initial 4-month pilot, Allina Health continued monitoring data from the platform regularly to assess the effectiveness of the strategy.  With the vendor, it looked at the number of users, items posted and exchanged, and cost savings.  Allina Health was able to show this data to leadership to justify financial support for the project to continue.

Outcomes

The platform currently has over 1000 users across the Allina Health system.  To date, over 19,828 pounds of items, supplies and furniture have been diverted from the landfill or incinerator and reused at other locations. In addition, over $273,000 in resources has been posted on the platform resulting in savings of over $171,500 for Allina Health. The platform not only helped Allina Health reuse items internally but also helped Allina Health donate over $19,000 to 16 local nonprofit organizations, savings an additional 2185 pounds from the landfill.   

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