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What Every Nursing Home Should Know About Medical Waste Disposal

When you think about medical waste and general environmental and regulatory standards and it disposal, you might not automatically think about nursing homes.

Instead, you might think about hospitals or larger-scale facilities, but very stringent standards certainly guide nursing homes at the local, state and national levels.

Nursing homes are one of the fastest-growing businesses in the country, especially as the number of Americans aged 65 and over will be in the tens of millions by 2030.

It’s important that as nursing homes become a growing field of business, operators are fully aware of all guidelines and regulations they must follow as it pertains to the waste they generate.

Below are key things to consider if you operate a nursing home:

You Do Generate Medical Waste

As mentioned at the start of this post, it’s important to understand a nursing home is in many ways like any other medical care facility, and much of the waste that’s created is considered regulated medical waste, therefore it must be handled appropriately.

Some waste is considered “red bag” which means it would go in a biohazard bag or container, and this includes things like needles, gauze, and other dressings.

Enact Recycling Programs

In addition to medical waste, a nursing home is going to generate non-regulated waste as well, and it’s a good idea to try to and limit this as much as possible.

For example, implement tenant recycling programs, use reusable items whenever possible, and try to eliminate the use of paper in the office or information sent to tenants and their families.

This doesn’t directly pertain to medical waste disposal, but operating a greener, more efficient nursing home can help you save money, attract more residents and remain compliant with other governmental suggestions and standards.

Work with A Medical Waste Disposal Company

Regardless of whether you’re a nursing home that’s been in business for decades, or you’re just starting out, it can always be a good idea to partner with a professional waste disposal company.

You’ll find that you’ll not only be able to avoid issues and added fines and costs by remaining compliant when you have professional guidance, but you can also save money overall because these companies can help ensure your waste disposal is as efficient and effective as possible.

Make sure you work with a company that not only handles medical waste but also has all the necessary insurance and permits.

Enact Training For Staff

Your staff is your first line of defense against potential health and safety issues that can arise during the management of medical waste.

Make sure all staff members are fully trained in every area of waste disposal impacting your nursing home.

They have a duty to not only make sure you’re compliant in how waste is disposed of but also to protect themselves, tenants and colleagues against the potential health and safety threats that can arise from mishandling hazardous waste.