Sustainability and waste are global topics. However, the healthcare industry has just come under the radar. While corporate waste, household waste, and food waste are all big contributors to the issue, healthcare facilities should be looking just as closely at their procedures and processes for mitigating waste.
Here are some ways to do it.
1. Design a waste management plan
This plan should include how you should properly manage your medical waste. In order to keep everyone on the same page, share the goals of your plan with every staff member. Perform an annual review of this plan for probable process or policy changes. Educate your staff in an orientation session, and continue to educate them periodically after that. Plus, conduct a session again after you make any process/policy revision.
2. Be aware of your state laws
In order to find out what comes within regulated medical waste (waste that’s contaminated by body fluids, blood, or other infectious material), you’ll need to know your state regulations about medical waste.
3. Post signage
By posting signage throughout the facility, you’ll be able to describe the type of waste that one can put in every container. With pictograms and visual reminders in place, your staff will do the right thing every time because they’ll be understanding your policies better.
4. Separate solid waste collection containers from ‘red bag waste’ containers
The staff may accidentally drop items in the wrong bin if they’re placed too close to one another. You can also separate wastes properly by using color code containers. For instance, green containers are used for recycling while red containers are ‘red bag waste.’
5. Don’t use large medical waste containers in patient rooms
If you place larger containers in patient rooms, staff and patients will start using them as regular trash bins. So, ensure only your staff can access the medical waste containers.
6. Ensure proper disposal of chemotherapy agents and pharmaceuticals
Talk to your staff, highlighting them why putting trace/bulk chemotherapy waste or unused pharmaceuticals in red medical waste bags is important. In accordance with state regulations, those items must be treated properly (for instance, through incineration) after separation.
7. Replace single-use products with reusable products (when possible)
For instance, you can use some medical instruments and certain sharps containers after disinfecting them. Before buying a product, check if it can be used again. In addition, review the instructions of the manufacturers along with the state regulations to ensure you’re allowed to reuse the product.
8. Perform waste audits
Periodically review to see if your plan is coming to fruition and your medical waste is being disposed of properly. Let your staff know about the findings and retain them if necessary.
For years, our regulated medical waste removal service in Denver has helped healthcare facilities of all sizes gather, process, and dispose of their sensitive waste. From sharps to chemotherapy waste removal in Denver, our clients rely on us for all waste-related needs.