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5 Big Medical Waste Mistakes Your Facility Could Be Making

The Cost of Medical Waste

Properly and lawfully handling medical waste often represents a significant expense for hospitals and health care facilities, but in reality, most organizations could significantly reduce their costs and also improve their compliance, efficiency and level of safety if they were to evaluate how the dispose of such waste, and alleviate certain mistakes.

Take a look at the following list and assess whether or not your organization is guilty of any of these big errors that could lead to higher costs, regulatory issues or even illnesses and safety concerns within your hospital or care facility:

  1. Training Is Either Lacking or Inconsistent

Training your entire medical staff isn’t an option when it comes to medical waste—it’s a necessity. Along with investing in the proper equipment you should similarly invest in providing employees with not only comprehensive but also consistent training. Consider delivering online or e-Learning training that can easily be updated or changed as regulations or methodology evolves. Training should be continuous and regularly implemented as a refresher, even for longtime employees.

  1. Failure to Adhere to DOT Guidelines

The Department of Transportation maintains stringent medical waste guidelines that cover the entire process, ranging from when waste is initially packed to how it’s transported for disposal. You may cut corners here, but that can result in tremendously expensive fines on a daily basis. Save yourself the hassle and money by not only learning but also following DOT guidelines strictly.

  1. Packaging Waste in Its Shipping Container

Many facilities may follow the outdated idea that whatever products were shipped in would work as containers in which to dispose of these materials. This isn’t often the case, and many types of medical waste requires rigid containers for shipping. It’s important to select and utilize the right type of containers to get rid of any and all medical waste.

  1. Not Paying Attention To State Guidelines

Yes, there is an abundance of federal regulations that dictate how you must handle medical waste, but there are also state guidelines that need to be followed. It’s essential to not only learn and follow federal regulations but also state guidelines to avoid expensive penalties if a violation is discovered.

  1. Inadequate Signs and Labeling

This is such a common issue, but one that’s also relatively easy to remedy. Biohazard signage and instructions are a pivotal part of any waste strategy, and it’s a good rule of thumb to go beyond even what’s required when it comes to labeling. It provides a reminder to staff of any training they may have forgotten, and it also reinforces the idea that your facility is one dedicated to following absolutely all standards and regulations.

Working with a Professional Medical Waste Service Provider

One of the best ways to avoid all of the common mistakes listed above and ensure absolute compliance along with efficiency, safety and money savings is to work with a professional waste disposal company. These companies can provide you with full-service options from pickup to training and compliance.