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High-Performance Healthcare™

Sustainable Practices

At Welch Allyn, we focus on bringing sustainable practices to the frontline healthcare professional. We aim to help improve infection control, reduce medical errors and inefficiencies, and focus on primary healthcare to reduce the need to send patients to acute care facilities—we call this High-Performance Healthcare.


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Our Commitment

Welch Allyn strives to make sustainability part of the fabric of the organization. Things like new power delivery options, recyclable building components, and utilizing storm water drainage are just some of the many ways Welch Allyn creates a sustainable environment for its facilities and employees.

Welch Allyn also has a commitment to improving frontline care by creating breakthrough technology that will help providers see more patients, detect more conditions and improve more lives.

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President's Message

Long before the "green" movement became popular, Welch Allyn had been showing its true colors for decades by respecting and preserving the community and environment in which our employees and customers work and live. We’re a medical device company, after all, and while we know our products enhance and save lives, Welch Allyn also realizes that a healthy environment is a vital part of overall well-being. It’s a commitment that was fostered several generations ago by long-time Welch Allyn CEO W.G. Allyn. His motto, “Be always kind and true,” applied not only to how he treated employees and customers, but it extended to his reverence of the world around us as well.

Today, Welch Allyn is a global leader in the medical device industry, yet we have not lost sight of the expectations W.G. Allyn put in place nearly a century ago. In fact, we’ve made a conscious decision to be both cutting-edge innovators and good global citizens. We’ve worked hard to create a company culture that supports and embraces this “green” mission through efforts large and small. It isn’t always easy or without sacrifice, but, in the end, it is simply the right thing to do.


- Alton Shader

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W.G. Allyn, an Inspiration

Family Legacy

W.G. Allyn, son of founder William Noah Allyn and company president from 1947 to 1971, had a motto, “Be always kind and true."

Highly-educated and trained as an optometrist, W.G., as he was known, brought a quiet confidence to the company after its humble beginnings. Having acquired the necessary sales and strategic planning resources, W.G. led the company through five decades of technical advances, sales growth and industry recognition, while establishing a firm infrastructure for the company which bears his family name.

While his wisdom and direction helped establish Welch Allyn as a leader in the medical manufacturing industry, it was his personal traits of loyalty, kindness and generosity that established a genuine company culture which still exists today. His motto was first brought to life when W.G. established one of the first employee pension programs in New York State or in the many Saturdays he spent providing free eye exams to Welch Allyn employees and their families.


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About High-Performance Healthcare™

High-Performance Healthcare is a multi-faceted approach incorporating more than just being “green”. Here at Welch Allyn, we strive to bring sustainable practices to the frontline healthcare professional.

Did you know infection control is a major environmental issue in hospitals and clinics? The Institute of Medicine found that hospital-acquired infections are among the leading causes of death in the United States and cost the healthcare industry an estimated $4.5 - $7.5 billion annually. Welch Allyn has focused on infection control and has developed a number of products that will help reduce infection rates in healthcare settings.

Reducing medical errors is another environmental issue we think is important to help improve healthcare settings' sustainability. Medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States and cost $1 billion annually. Welch Allyn has invested a significant amount of its resources to develop solutions that allow healthcare data to be transmitted automatically to electronic medical records—further improving patient safety and decreasing inefficiencies.

General practitioners also play a strategic role in creating a sustainable healthcare system. We provide frontline caregivers the necessary tools to help disease prevention activities, improve efficiency and quality, and keep people out of acute care settings.

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Frontline Commitment

We are the only company that focuses on what we like to call the "frontline of care"—doctors' offices, hospital emergency rooms, clinics, and skilled nursing facilities—the places where 95 percent of all patients seek treatment, but where just 5 percent of resources are utilized. Over 100 years, Welch Allyn has built a reputation for providing the most advanced technologies and solutions available to caregivers in frontline settings.

With every new product, every day, each and every one of us at Welch Allyn works to give frontline care providers the ability to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, focus on more patients, perform more procedures, and provide better on-site care.

Community Awareness

Welch Allyn actively participates in forums on local, state and national/global levels to build awareness and educate corporations and others on the importance and benefits of environmental responsibility. Examples include:

  • Tijuana Innovadora 2010: Welch Allyn President & CEO Julie Shimer gave a presentation on environmental responsibility
  • MedTech 2010, a New York State-based medical company forum: Welch Allyn participated in a panel discussion on sustainability
  • Accelerate CNY 2011, a Central New York-based company forum: Welch Allyn presented its sustainability initiative
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Sustainability

Welch Allyn is proud of its environmentally-friendly facilities, LEED Gold award, Lean Six Sigma manufacturing cycle, and product refurbishment program, which all contribute to its goal of being a responsible citizen of the world.

Video: Richard Fedrizzi, president and CEO of USGBC, presents the official LEED Gold plaque to Welch Allyn executives during a formal ceremony April 2, 2012.

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Facilities

The Welch Allyn global headquarters in Skaneateles Falls, NY, is situated in the heart of rural Central New York, complete with rolling landscapes, picturesque farmlands and the sparkling Finger Lakes. The area has been home to Welch Allyn since it was founded. Because of that, Welch Allyn has made the commitment to be a responsible and contributing citizen of the community, and to protect and preserve the environment around it.

In 2009, Welch Allyn started a renovation and expansion project at the Skaneateles Falls facility that would increase the square footage by 55%. From the beginning, Welch Allyn was dedicated to maintaining the natural surroundings and building with the land, not over it.  The goal was to create a footprint that was large in operational size yet small in environmental impact.

Landscape architects and environmentally-savvy engineers brought the project to completion in July 2011.  During the process, 100 mature trees were relocated, 25% of materials used contained recycled content, and 70% of construction debris avoided landfills.

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LEED

The United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally-recognized green building certification system providing benchmarks for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Welch Allyn is proud to have earned a Gold rating in the LEED certification program.

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Sustainable Site

Using LEED requirements, Welch Allyn has incorporated these sustainable site characteristics into its State Street facility:

  • Preferred parking for low-emission or fuel-efficient vehicles and people who are carpooling
  • The amount of vegetated open space has exceeded local zoning laws
  • Roofing materials have a high solar reflectance index, which helps to lower the air temperature in and around the building
  • All construction activities used erosion and sediment control
  • The exterior lighting is night sky compliant, reducing light pollution
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Water Efficiency

Welch Allyn strives to use water sparingly, inside and out.

The overall water consumption at Welch Allyn has been decreased by 25% even though the building has doubled in size.

  • Low-flow fixtures and waterless systems are installed where possible
  • The cafeteria uses high-efficiency and low-water-consumption equipment
  • Landscaping around the building was designed to not need an irrigation system
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Energy & Atmosphere

Even as the building size has increased by 55%, Welch Allyn has only increased its energy consumption by 8% using several different techniques.

  • Numerical modeling for building energy efficiency is used to optimize systems throughout the addition
  • 35% of the facility’s electricity is derived from renewable resources
  • Advanced daylight controls automatically adjust lighting based on the amount of natural light available
  • Over 95% of office occupants have access to natural light through perimeter windows and skylights, reducing the need for artificial light
  • No CFC-based refrigerants are used in cooling
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Materials & Resources

Throughout construction, Welch Allyn was committed to building and renovating with as many environmentally-friendly materials and strategies as possible. Now, we still strive to recycle and reuse at all times possible.

  • Ongoing recycling program for paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastic, metals, batteries, and lamps
  • Over 70% of construction debris was recycled
  • Over 25% of construction materials utilized recycled content
  • More than 20% of materials used were manufactured within a 500-mile radius
  • All contractors utilized were from New York State, and the majority were from the Central New York region
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Indoor Environmental Quality

Since employees spend the majority of their workdays indoors, it is important to Welch Allyn to provide a safe and healthy environment.

  • Air delivery systems monitor for carbon dioxide concentrations and outdoor airflow rate, optimizing the turnover of indoor air with outdoor fresh air
  • Exclusive use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) cleaning products
  • Exclusive use of low-VOC materials, adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings
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Lean Six Sigma

On the Welch Allyn manufacturing floor, the elimination of scrap and other forms of waste via Lean Six Sigma activities is actively pursued.

We have a corporate Lean expert on staff coupled with dozens of manufacturing engineering employees and others who are Lean certified at a variety of levels. Virtually every production line has been scrutinized and optimized to make operations more efficient.

Learn more about our manufacturing facilities.

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Solutions

At Welch Allyn, we specialize in helping doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers across the globe provide High-Performance Healthcare by developing solutions to fit their needs, improve frontline care, and consider the environment.


Products & Services

Welch Allyn joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Partnership in 2009. As one of the first medical device companies to join, Welch Allyn—through its voluntary partnership with the EPA—is working to continually enhance energy efficiency and sustainability in its products, processes and manufacturing facilities across the globe.

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FlexiPort® Blood Pressure Cuffs

Welch Allyn FlexiPort blood pressure cuffs are designed to work with devices in any patient care area. Patients can move freely from room-to-room, floor-to-floor and department-to-department without forcing clinicians to find new cuffs for each different device.

Traditionally, blood pressure cuffs are different for every type of blood pressure monitoring device in a medical facility. The FlexiPort cuff, however, can be attached to a variety of fittings, eliminating the need for traditional tubes and connectors. With the FlexiPort cuff, hospitals can decrease the amount of inventory by 50 percent and also decrease the amount of waste produced from cuffs. No longer will a patient need a new cuff every time he or she is hooked up to a new device. Additionally, the regular, disposable FlexiPort cuff is made of material that has 20 percent less impact on the environment when disposed of than other disposable cuffs.

The FlexiPort port helps cut down the risk of spreading infectious diseases through cuffs by enabling a single cuff to be used on multiple devices.


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FlexiPort® EcoCuff™ Blood Pressure Cuffs

The Welch Allyn FlexiPort EcoCuff has 60 percent less environmental impact than traditional blood pressure cuffs and can help healthcare facilities manage infection rates and lower costs.

Using FlexiPort technology, each EcoCuff is used on only one patient, helping to decrease the risk of cross-contamination. EcoCuff is built without any harmful chemicals using only 100 percent polypropylene, which is cleaner burning when disposed of in the trash or can be recycled where facilities are available. Weighing 60 percent less than traditional disposable cuffs, EcoCuff's lighter size and smaller material volume also help reduce the amount of hospital waste.


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Green Series™

Introduced in 2009, the Green Series exam lights were the first Welch Allyn products to be shipped as EPA ENERGY STAR Partner.

These lights were among the first exam lights in the world to use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead of halogen lamps. In addition to providing a superior light that provides enhanced visualization of the exam area, LEDs reduce costs and waste for caregivers. There are no bulbs to be replaced and energy consumption is considerably lower than a traditional halogen lamp.

The Green Series exam lights also help to reduce the spread of infections and risk of cross-contamination by providing a touchless on/off switch.


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EMR Connectivity

Research shows that when vitals are captured and recorded on a piece of paper for manual entry into the EMR later, it's easy to transcribe them incorrectly, enter them into the wrong patient's record—or never enter them at all.

And even if data is entered correctly, there's a delay between the time they're captured and actually posted into the EMR. This can make staff less efficient—and force physicians to delay clinical decisions, or make them without the latest information.

The Connex® Electronic Vitals Documentation System (EVD), eliminates the need to write down vital signs and then record them in the EMR at a later time. Rather, vital signs are taken and recorded immediately. This allows providers to make decisions with the most up-to-date and accurate information. Additionally, the EVD system eliminates the chance of transcription errors, for example, transposing numbers or entering data for the wrong patient.

The Connex® Vital Signs Monitor (CVSM) is an advanced, touchscreen monitor featuring bright, vivid colors with minimal knobs and buttons that provides for easy cleaning and sanitation. Working with the CVSM and the Connex® Vitals Management software, clinicians can improve workflow by wirelessly sending patient vitals directly from the bedside to an EMR. Providers can also change the workflow profile for department needs such as monitoring, spot check or triage mode.


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LED Lights

Welch Allyn offers a full line of LED replacement bulbs for traditional hand-held instruments using halogen lamps.

In comparison to traditional halogen lamps, LED lamps last 30 times longer and use one-third of the battery power, which requires less battery recharging. Additionally, LED lamps provide brighter and whiter light at a lower operating temperature, which allows a provider to see true colors and enables correct diagnosis.

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Mercury Eradication

Welch Allyn has partnered with BPL Healthcare to launch a mercury eradication program to eliminate the use of mercury in medical devices around the world. Mercury is one of the world’s most ubiquitous and potent heavy-metal neurotoxins, but has been an integral part of many devices such as thermometers and sphygmomanometers. Devices routinely break or leak and the spill adds to the global burden of mercury. Welch Allyn and BPL Healthcare hope to replace mercury-based medical devices with affordable, accurate, and safer alternatives.

In 2009, Welch Allyn and the West China School of Medicine (Sichuan University) opened a landmark training center for general practice medicine. The training center, intended to educate providers in China on frontline care, is equipped with mercury-free Welch Allyn diagnostic equipment and is environmentally friendly.

  • The integrated wall systems contain the mercury-free 767 wall aneroid sphygmomanometer, and SureTemp Plus® electronic thermometer
  • The PC-based ECG systems increase utilization of existing equipment
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring software with connectivity allows the process to become paperless
  • Connex® Vitals Management software communicates directly with the Connex® Vitals Signs Monitor via a wired or wireless network to transmit data directly to an EMR, creating a paperless process