Best Practices for Medical Waste Disposal
May 13, 2016
Waste is simply a reality in the medical field. To provide the best and safest care, many instruments and tools are used only once before being disposed of. This practice keeps us safe and healthy, but also creates a unique waste disposal dilemma. When medical tools have been used and need to be disposed of, they can’t simply go in a regular trash can, they must be disposed of properly for the safety of patients, healthcare workers, environmental services employees, and the general population. It is essential that healthcare facilities have procedures and tools in place to prevent improper disposal of medical waste, here are four practices that are imperative.
Medical Waste Containers
Medical waste containers can help healthcare workers correctly dispose of waste by labeling, and can make removal of waste a more simplified and streamlined process. Various container types are available for different needs, for example, sharps containers, which are used for needles and other sharp objects that may tear through a bag.
Labeling and Packaging
Different types of medical waste also require different labeling and packaging, so they can be handled and disposed of differently. Pathology waste, infectious waste, chemotherapy waste, and biohazardous waste all require different labels, and should all be handled differently. In addition, all sharp objects, such as needles, should be in puncture resistant packaging before being put into a medical waste bag for shipping, to prevent any injury during transport.
As with all other things in the medical field, proper documentation and paper filing is essential in disposing of medical waste. Not only does paperwork protect the care provider, it also protects the waste disposal company and is required for transport. Each waste container or bag should have accompanying paperwork throughout its transport.
Employing a Professional
Medical waste disposal can be intimidating, but is an essential part of healthcare. Proper disposal keeps everyone safe, and is of utmost importance. While having systems and processes in place are still necessary, a waste removal company can help make your job easier, while ensuring waste is disposed of in the correct way. When dealing with medical waste, it is important to realize that waste is the responsibility of the waste generator (ie. the hospital, lab, nursing home, etc.), even after it has been taken off site. It’s essential to choose a reliable waste management company, because any liability is still in your hands. A good waste disposal company should understand and follow legal policies for transport and disposal, following each policy strictly. It is also essential your waste disposal company works with you to set a removal schedule, so you don’t ever have a backup of waste that needs to be transported.
At Biomedical Waste Services we have a skilled team of professionals who are familiar with legal regulations for waste disposal, and understand how important it is to your day to day workings. Our team is trained to deal with all types of biomedical waste disposal safely and thoroughly, keeping you and your organization safe.
"I’ve been using Biomedical Waste Services, Inc. for nearly 20 years! I’ve had superior customer service since day one with no surprises on our invoices."
- Dr. Kim