Safe, compliant medical waste disposal is important any time, but it has become even more critical amid COVID-19 as waste generators, hospitals, health systems and physician practices are responsible for knowing, understanding and following regulated medical waste management requirements. Given the evolving nature of COVID-19, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest rules and recommendations.
Waste Management Resources from Our Own Industry Experts
On April 29, Stericycle hosted an informative webinar about regulated medical waste, offering an in-depth look at how healthcare organizations should approach waste management during the pandemic. Our own Richard Best, Ph. D, Director of OSHA Compliance and Cara Simaga, CHMM, Director of Regulatory Affairs, lent their combined expertise to the event, sharing a detailed roadmap of the regulatory landscape and offering best practices for ensuring consistent compliance.
Dr. Best is an OSHA authorized trainer and a certified OSHA safety professional, which gives him a rich perspective around the worker safety implications of waste management. Similarly, as the chair of the Healthcare Waste Institute, Ms. Simaga brings her deep experience with waste disposal logistics to the compliance discussion.
Supporting Safe Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Processes during COVID-19
This webinar outlined the different types of medical wastes, specifically how COVID-19 waste is differentiated. The purpose of the webinar was to answer the following questions:
- What is regulated medical waste?
- Which government agencies regulate medical waste disposal?
- What are the differences between state regulations and federal requirements?
- How does COVID-19 waste differ from other types of regulated medical waste?
- How can you find answers to questions about medical waste disposal in your state?
This information will be particularly vital at this time while healthcare organizations are in some cases short-staffed or working with limited resources. It is important that healthcare workers are comfortable with the proper ways to dispose of medical waste in order to further increase the safety of their organizations. The webinar not only explored the various waste stream types, like regulated medical waste and pathological/trace chemo waste, but participants also received a refresher course on the proper handling and segmentation of this waste.
Regulated Medical Waste Requirements: Red Bags, Packaging, and More
During the webinar, attendees were presented a thorough rundown of what should be collected in a red medical waste bag (contaminated PPE, etc.), and what should not be included (medication, batteries, loose sharps, garbage, etc.).
In addition to waste disposal, the webinar covered how to package, label and document full containers for transport, treatment (methods include incineration and autoclaving) and disposal.
After a comprehensive review of general requirements, the webinar tackled the specific nuances of COVID-19 waste, including waste generated in patient care settings as well as labs and testing sites. Webinar attendees were able to dive into expert opinions, as Ms. Simaga discussed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s perspective as well as state guidance, including where personal protective equipment and cleaning materials fit into the waste stream.
Stericycle Is Ready to Help Your Business Safely Manage Regulated Medical Waste
At Stericycle, we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and are always looking for ways to help guide you through this evolving time. We developed this webinar to ensure you are fully prepared to properly and safely manage regulated medical waste during the crisis and beyond.
Don’t miss out. Learn more about RMW and COVID-19 waste by viewing the recording here https://www.stericycle.com/covid-hub/webinar-recordings.