How Proper Medical Waste Management Benefits Your Practice29 April 2022
Effective medical waste management can mean the difference between ensuring a safe and clean environment with the community in mind or hefty fines, potential public relations crises, or worse – causing public health hazards and putting lives in danger.
Clinical waste is the by-product of any healthcare activity that includes waste from surgeries, hospitals, and laboratories. Other examples include materials or substances that may have come into contact with the body during diagnosis, research, and treatment.
The risks posed by ineffective disposal can be far-ranging and harmful to the environment and the public. Those who handle clinical waste face higher risks. Unfortunately, a study conducted by the World Health Organisation found that out of half of the sampled health facilities in 24 countries, only 58% had adequate systems in place to safely dispose of medical or clinical waste.
Therefore, it is important to actively find ways to ensure efficient disposal of clinical waste and thus reap the benefits of a proper waste management system. Here are five ways in which you can be responsible for your waste and how it benefits not just your business but also the community and the environment:
Staying compliant with medical or state regulations is an excellent first step. The guidelines set up by these governing bodies would cover areas such as packaging of waste, storage, transportation, and permits. Adhering to protocol and following already established standards can avoid further mismanagement.
Further guidelines may also cover additional waste management, including on-site treatment, contingency plans, training, reporting, recordkeeping, and waste tracking. Failure to adhere to these standards can result in fines and huge damages, so it benefits your practice to stay on the right side of these regulations.
Be Environmentally Responsible
Efficient waste removal also means being environmentally responsible. Consequences could be dire if medical waste isn’t disposed of correctly, as soil and bodies of water can become contaminated. Rainfall can sometimes spread these pollutants and contaminate larger catchments of water. As aquatic animals may live in thesecontaminated waters, problems such as bioaccumulation could occur and affect the health and well-being of all organisms in the biological food chain.
By getting rid of waste through proper channels – using a licensed waste treatment service provider , the risk of environmental damage is lowered. Adopting and utilising clinical waste containers and designating their individual use is another highly advised method to improve overall organisation and reduce harm.
Protect Staff and Patients
Proper waste management also protects your staff and patients. Establishing work and patient guidelines through mediums such as signboards to warn people of harmful substances can reduce risks.
With the current pandemic still at large, both staff and visitors need to be aware of procedures and adhere to them should your practice be under any form of strain – for instance, lack of staff due to illness. By following these guidelines, you can lower the exposure to risk amongst the people working in your facility.
Staff should be made aware of waste disposal and attend training or workshops to improve their knowledge and experience. Moreover, conducting regular waste audits will allow your practice to maintain compliance, identify problems, and ensure overall effectiveness.
Prevent Public Health Hazards
Positive public health is another result of efficient disposal. As with general rubbish, clinical waste can accumulate very fast and, if not properly managed, can lead to significant health issues.
It is recommended that both staff and patients have easy access to bins as people tend to dispose of their waste at their convenience. By strategically allocating appropriate collection bins in key areas, waste can be disposed of easily. For example, medical waste containers should be placed near staff and far from patients.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Finally, you can also improve operational efficiency when you get rid of waste properly. By employing the right solutions and systems, you will be able to focus your attention elsewhere whilst maintaining a clean, healthy, and thriving atmosphere amongst your patients and staff. It is also vital to have clinical waste support to adjust, improve and aid your clinic and caregiving.
Medical or clinical disposal is an essential component of all healthcare facilities. Therefore, it’s important to have a proper waste management system in place. Sharpsafe can assist you with a broad range of solutions to ensure effective and efficient clinical waste disposal. As a licensed manufacturer and distributor of Sharpsafe® disposable plastic sharps containers throughout Australia, we can help you dispose of hazardous sharps safely. Get in touch with us for more information!