Medical Waste Disposal and Management. If you run a healthcare facility or oversee housekeeping, janitorial, or maintenance at a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility, you understand the importance of keeping it clean and safe for your patients. Any type of uncleanliness is a risk to the health of anyone who enters that space, whether staff or patient. That’s why it’s important to manage your medical waste to ensure safety. Depending on what services your facility offers and the type of operation you have, different regulations apply when deciding how to store and how your medical waste is treated. The good news is that with careful planning and management, handling and storing of this waste isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Keep reading for some useful tips on managing your medical waste disposal so that everyone in your facility always remains safe from infection and pathogens.
The first step in managing your medical waste disposal is to understand exactly what waste you’re producing and why. By understanding the types of waste you’re generating from your facility, you can better decide how to handle, store, and dispose of your medical waste.
Depending on the type of waste you produce, you may have different containers for different types of waste, such as sharps and biohazardous waste. Make sure you know the regulations and policies for your facility and the type of waste you produce and use that knowledge to decide what type and where to place your medical waste containers. Waste containers should be color coded and clearly marked for the type of waste that goes in it. This makes it easy for staff to recognize, and segregate the medical waste produced. All generation points should have readily accessible medical waste disposal containers nearby.
After you’ve collected the medical waste and placed it in the appropriate container, when full it’s time to store it. Again, follow the policies and regulations for your facility, for storing waste. As per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Transporting and storing regulated medical wastes within the health-care facility prior to terminal treatment is often necessary. Both federal and state regulations address the safe transport and storage of on- and off-site regulated medical wastes.1406–1408 Health-care facilities are instructed to dispose medical wastes regularly to avoid accumulation. Medical wastes requiring storage should be kept in labeled, leak-proof, puncture-resistant containers under conditions that minimize or prevent foul odors. The storage area should be well ventilated and be inaccessible to pests. Any facility that generates regulated medical wastes should have a regulated medical waste management plan to ensure health and environmental safety as per federal, state, and local regulations.”
Finally, you should always train your staff on how to handle and segregate waste safely and correctly, as well as how to recognize potential hazards. They should be able to identify the different types of waste and know how to properly segregate and handle each one and understand when a medical waste disposal container is full vs. overfull. Most fines a healthcare facility will receive from improper medical waste disposal is not from a willful disregard of regulations, rather, from a lack of understanding or training of key employees who handle, segregate, or dispose of waste.
One of the most effective ways to handle your medical waste is to hire a medical waste management company. This is true from a cost perspective as well as a management perspective. A medical waste management company should have the knowledge and understanding of all current regulations. A medical waste management company that own’s it own medical waste processing plant will have the knowledge and understanding of current medical waste regulations because they themselves are regulated and licensed by the state to treat medical waste.
Bio-MED is a full-service medical waste disposal company that owns a fleet of trucks, directly hires and trains the employees that will come into your office, and we own our own medical waste processing plant to treat your medical waste. We handle it all from pickup to disposal, we did this to be able to provide our customers with the best possible service, at the best possible pricing. Contact Us Today!
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