mProper disposal of medical waste is the first step towards reducing the incidence of infections and contaminations in a hospital setting. Medical waste is also an environmental concern because of the hazards it poses to the community and people. In a health care facility, everyone is responsible in the proper disposal of medical waste. Proper segregation starts on-site and the source should be the ones responsible for their medical waste. While housekeeping is generally in charge of the medical waste, hospital personnel must be responsible enough to do their share in the proper waste disposal.
As a matter of fact, only a small portion of medical waste can be considered hazardous. A larger portion of the medical waste is similar to household waste which can be disposed of through the municipal trash collection system. This reduces the cost of hiring the services of medical waste disposal companies. In a hospital setting, those who handle the hazardous medical waste are facing the potential danger of infections and it becomes important for the organization to properly train the staff in the proper handling and disposal of medical waste.
Segregation is one of the important steps in waste management system. Medical waste must be disposed properly through a variety of color coded waste containment options provided by Stericycle. These are the containers that remain closed when not in use as provided for by OSHA regulations. Stericycle specializes in the proper disposal of medical waste through the following services.
* Appropriate red containers, labels and online manifests for the collections of hazardous medical waste
* Professional pick-up, removal and transport of the medical waste from the hospitals and clinics to waste treatment facilities.
* OSHA compliant treatment and disposal of the hazardous red bag waste
* Complete custody documentation for the treatment and disposal of medical waste
* Training programs for the hospital staff to understand the proper manner of handling and disposing medical waste
Training is very important in a hospital setting for all staff and personnel especially housekeeping. Many housekeeping staff is not aware of the potential dangers they face every time they handle medical waste. Sharps pose a great risk of infections to health workers and housekeeping including the transmission of HIV or Hepatitis B. Supervisors should see to it that housekeeping staff is trained on the proper disposal of medical waste and sharps and if possible they should be vaccinated against Hepatitis B.
Improper medical waste disposal is a threat to a community. In landfills scavengers are exposed to needle-sticks that expose them to blood borne diseases. They can easily transmit the infection to other people whom they come in contact with including their own families. Depending on the state where the medical facility is located, there are different categories for medical waste. Medical facilities should always follow the segregation rules to facilitate the collection of medical waste disposal companies. These private contractors need to be properly accredited according to state and federal laws. It is also the duty of the medical facilities to see to it that the medical waste disposal companies are following the correct procedures in the treatment of the hazardous waste.
If a medical facility has no on-site medical waste treatment facility, it is best for them to work with Stericycle , a good medical waste disposal company. For more information, visit MedWaste Management online.