The healthcare system today faces a diverse set of challenges, from inadequate staff to management of medical wastes. The latter, however, seems to be the cause of unbearable consequences in the industry. The need to eliminate risks for infections transfer is more than inherent while minimizing patient interruptions remains top of the to-do list for most of those facilities.
Is It Time To Re-Think Traditional Waste Management?
Most of the US based healthcare facilities have for a long time suffered from inadequacies of the medical waste management services. Most companies offering those services are cutting corners by using unconventional means to dispose of the wastes. Besides, transportation for medical waste is not done according to the expected requirements.
For these facilities to ensure that waste management is done as intended, it is crucial to ensure that the waste disposal firms operate within the walls of a typical healthcare facility. The best approach should focus on the following important aspects:
- Elimination of infection transfer risk
- Minimizing patient interruptions
- Improving efficiency
- Ensuring staff and patient safety
Eliminating Infection Transfer Risks
It goes without saying that most medical refuse comes from patient diagnosis, treatment, and immunizations of both human beings and animals. Any items that have gone through the above processes are potentially capable of transmitting infections if left out in the open. As such, according to the World Health Organization, the following items should be classified as infectious waste:
- Sharps: includes needles, scalpels, and other sharp tools
- Lab stocks and cultures
- Blood products and blood
- Pathological wastes
- Chemicals and hazardous materials used to diagnose and treat patients
- Wastes from patients in isolation due to having the infectious disease
Healthcare facilities may include clinics, hospitals, diagnostic labs, and research facilities; and are all responsible for producing medical waste. It is common for people to imagine that medical waste only comes from hospitals and clinics.
From the diverse kinds of medical waste, it is important for US based healthcare facilities to look into how a prospective waste disposal firm is going to handle each of the items above. One of the most crucial factors is to ensure that the waste disposal company provides clinically designed containment systems. Those containers ought to come with secure lids that can be fastened.
There are many instances where you visit a medical facility and find open static bins. While the intention to have static bins was good, the fact that they are open works against the need to have them in the first place. The next important factor is looking into how the waste disposal company will move the waste from your facility. You do not want the firm carrying those wastes in open vehicles that will leave some of the items dropping on the road.
If possible, consider asking for waste movement audits from your prospects just to be sure that everything will be done according to expected standards.
Can you trace the medical waste from your facility? This is another pertinent concern for most medical facilities. Some medical disposal firms and US based healthcare facilities are known to illegally dump their medical waste. If you are hiring a company to collect and dispose of this medical refuse, be sure to ask for traceability solutions.