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Before the 1980’s the rules and regulations governing medical waste disposal were very loose. However, the rise in the number of HIV/AIDS patients led to the introduction of strict regulations on how to handle, manage and dispose of waste.
But because these rules are there, it doesn’t mean that hospitals and types of private healthcare facilities cannot take extra measures to protect the environment.
Every state has its laws governing waste disposal practices. Familiarise yourself with these rules before initiating the waste disposal process. Check the guidelines that EPA, FDA, and DEA has on the same.
According to the law, medical waste is anything that comes into direct contact with the fluids of a patient. The hospital should ensure they contain, treat and dispose of these items properly to avoid the spread of viruses and other diseases.
For example, sharp objects are biohazardous materials that can puncture your skin and contaminate you with bodily fluids. The sharp objects will include a syringe and a needle that’s used in treating humans and animals. The medical facility should place these items in an FDA approved container awaiting disposal.
Every hospital or medical facility must effectively manage or dispose of their waste. But at times, the facility may not have the time, tools and skills to manage their waste effectively. In that case, the facility should consider engaging a professional company to help in waste disposal. The following are some strategies to waste management which will yield positive returns.
1. Develop a Sound Plan
The success of any exercise depends on how well you plan the execution. At this stage, the management of hospitals and other types of private healthcare facilities will outline their waste management strategy. In most cases, the administration will assign different roles to various members.
To develop a sound plan, the management needs to know the amount of waste it generates in a day or week.
2. Minimize wastage
The ultimate waste disposal strategy is not producing it in the first place. But this is an impossible standard as hospitals will treat patients which generates waste.
The management should consider minimizing their wastage. One way to do this is reusing the objects so long as they don’t compromise the safety of their staff or patients. The hospitals should invest in buying greener alternatives like recyclable plastic containers among others.
3. Hire a Waste Management Company
Be very careful with the waste management company you hire. The firm should comply with all the terms as set out by the relevant authorities.
Failure to comply with these rules will have a devastating impact on your facility. Such will include hefty fines or temporary closure of your hospital.
A competent waste management expert will outline the specific laws and guidelines that apply to your case. Further, the team will follow the law to manage and dispose of your wastes.
Hiring a waste management firm allows you to focus on your essential core competency.