27 May 2019
The Hectic Health Care Setting
Health care is a fast-paced environment where providers move steadily from patient to patient, delivering care and prescribing treatments to resolve urgent issues, address health concerns and more. As part of this multifaceted work, providers are constantly discarding soiled items, used needles, leftover medications and other waste. If an organization doesn’t have a reliable program for proper medical waste handling and disposal, it can inadvertently put staff, patients and the surrounding community at risk.
Continuously Evolving Standards
Medical waste disposal is governed by various regulations designed to preserve staff and patient safety, prevent injury and mitigate the risks of environmental harm. These rules often evolve over time—in part because of increasingly heightened awareness. In addition, as new drugs and treatment options enter the market, such as chemotherapy patches, organizations must familiarize themselves with any unique disposal requirements and incorporate them into existing processes and procedures as appropriate.
Staff Turnover Can Exacerbate the Complexity
Keeping up with nuances of medical waste disposal can be challenging for any health care organization, especially for those with high levels of staff turnover. Comprehensive staff education and training take time and resources, and if an organization is in constant need to train new employees, it can take a serious toll on both overall resource usage and efficiency, as well as an organization’s bottom line. This lack of continuity can also present potential safety risks as new staff face a learning curve when it comes to fully appreciating the many hazards and requirements.
An Expert Partner Can Make a Difference
Given the complexity of medical waste management, it is easy to see how health care organizations can have questions or need guidance. Further, because many organizations do not have a dedicated role to manage this process in its entirety, it can be difficult to gain a holistic picture of how waste is handled from beginning to end.
This is where a strategic partnership with a medical waste management expert can be valuable. Offering a unique perspective, a knowledgeable outside partner can play a critical role in spotting hazards, compliance gaps and training opportunities, while helping to build practice-based programs that safeguard staff and patients as well as meet regulatory requirements.
A knowledgeable partner like Stericycle can give your organization peace of mind, knowing our commitment to keeping abreast of changing requirements helps ensure your continuous compliance. We can also serve as a valued team member, removing the burden from staff while supporting your organization with tools and resources for long-term success. Learn how Stericycle can be your comprehensive waste management partner.
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