Ways to Reduce Medical Waste: Biomedical or Medical waste involves all the infectious waste which is produced during diagnosis or treatment of diseases. From infected syringes to used cotton buds – these are all medical waste of some type.
Hospitals and health-care centers produce a lot of medical waste every year. In fact, if you are to believe a recent survey, it is said that India alone will be producing as much as 775.5 tonnes of medical waste!
If that is the condition of a single nation, just imagine the total amount of medical waste that is produced collectively by the world! And if you are aware of the many issues associated with improper disposal of medical waste, you will eventually resort to the idea of reducing the production of such waste. And how exactly can you do this? Let’s check out:
Table of Contents
1. Know your state laws
Knowing your state laws is the first step into formulating plans for reducing medical waste. Generally, regulated medical waste is the only kind of medical waste that is harmful to health and the environment. This is why reducing the generation of regulated medical waste is a must. But, how can you identify which medical waste is regulated? Look up at your respective state laws.
2. Know the difference
As surprising as it sounds, most of us do not actually have a clear idea as to what is considered medical waste. Normally, any kind of waste that comes out of a hospital or a health clinic is a medical waste to us. However, this is partially incorrect. Medical waste is basically anything that may prove to be harmful to the health of other individuals, like blood-stained syringes or used bandages. Therefore, learn the difference and work on reducing them.
3. Develop a waste management plan
The most important tip to remember while handling any type of waste! Formulating a fool-proof waste management plan becomes essential, especially in the case of medical waste. Since medical waste can be really hazardous to health too, it is essential to handle them with care. So, create a proper waste management plan for different types of regulated medical waste and make sure every employee follows it.
4. Employee training is a must
You cannot reduce the amount of medical waste produced in your hospital, all by yourself. Cooperation from every staff member is a must to reach the goal. Hence, train your employees regarding reduction in the volumes of medical waste production. Show them the game plan, allow them to understand it fully, and solve their queries if any.
5. Separate bins for different types of medical waste
In case you are not aware, regulated medical waste is basically of four types – general, infectious, hazardous, and radioactive. As the name suggests, general medical waste disposal requires less supervision. But, when it comes to the handling and disposal of hazardous or radioactive medical waste, utmost care is needed. So, maintaining separate bins for different types of medical waste is highly suggested so that each type of waste can be handled accordingly.
6. Use large bins
Another essential tip to remember! Regular disposal of medical waste is not just risky, but also a costly affair. Therefore, the best thing you can do is invest in a large-sized bin. That way, you will not have to dispose of medical waste every other day.
7. Use reusable medical products
Reuse, reduce, recycle for the go! There are various medical products that can be sanitized and reused for a long time. In fact, these days even reusable syringes are available in the market. So, why not go for such types of products rather than going for a single-use product and adding to the already hiked amount of medical waste?
8. Educate the pharmaceutical agents
For reduction in the generation of medical waste, proper segregation is the key. And there is only so much that your hospital staff can do to segregate the medical waste properly. Hence, it is essential to educate the pharmaceutical and chemotherapy agents regarding waste segregation. Ensure that they put their hazardous medical waste in a different container so that it can be treated further. Take notes from the Daniels Health medical waste disposal solutions.
9. Check your progress
Lastly, a progress check is a must, even in the case of medical waste reduction. At the end of the year, conduct a full-blown audit and see how much you reduce the production of regulated medical waste. A proper assessment ensures a better understanding of where you need to put more effort.
Over to you…
Reduction in the amount of medical waste is a must. Especially, because it largely affects the condition of the environment in which we live. Here, we listed the 9 easy ways through which you can reduce medical waste. Follow these tips and contribute to the development of a greener, safer environment.